Can I foster as a single person?
Absolutely, as long as you care about offering a nurturing, happy home and want to improve the life of a child, we would love to hear from you.
Do I need to own my own home?
No, owning your own home is not necessary. Many of our foster families live in rented accommodation.
Do I need a spare room?
Yes, you will not be able to foster unless you have a spare bedroom available. Same sex siblings are sometimes able to share a room. Non related children and siblings of opposite sexes would need a bedroom each.
Can I still work while I foster?
Possibly, this would depend on the flexibility and nature of your employment. One foster parent per family would need to be available to attend meetings and support groups as well as collect children from school and look after them during school holidays. Some foster parents find that they are able to work from home without too much juggling, especially those in flexible employment or self employed, Your fostering role should always take priority, your foster child will need your time, patience and dedication.
Will I have a choice about which young person or child I care for?
Yes, during your assessment and training, you will learn about the types of fostering available and the rewards and challenges involved. Our placements team work hard to make sure that children are placed into families with the right skills and experience to meet their needs. They will work with you to make sure that you have as much information as possible to help you to decide if you are able to welcome this child into your home.
Will a criminal record stop me from becoming a foster carer?
Not necessarily, it would depend on what the conviction was for, when it happened and if it would be likely to have an impact on the children in your care. Please mention any convictions when you make your initial enquiry, so that we can advise you knowing more about your individual circumstances. We also carry out police checks as part of the application process. This information would of course remain confidential.
What checks will be carried out?
Various checks are required before you can be passed as a foster parent, including; DBS check (police check), enquiries with your local social services, education and health departments. A financial check would be undertaken and a health and safety check will also be carried out on your home. All of this is done by our lovely team on your behalf to reduce the stress caused to you during the process. You will be supported and made aware of each step throughout and your consent gained before we undertook any of these checks.
What would happen if I didn’t get on with a young person or child in my care?
Each of our foster families has a dedicated Fostering Supervisor from our team who would meet with you regularly to make sure things were going well. You would have access to 24/7 support from our team, so that if there were any incidents, night or day, you would recieve advice and support to help you decide the best course of action. Many of our foster families have been looking after children for decades and love to offer their advice to their fellow foster parents. We are lucky to have a particularly friendly and experienced team of foster parents who meet up regularly at support groups and on days out, including our foster care ambassadors; part of their role is to support new foster families. You would also be given training on how to cope with a range of challenging behaviours to equip you to manage any difficult situations in advance.
Although we work hard to make sure that we match foster children with the right foster families, sadly sometimes, despite everyone’s best efforts, placements do break down. If this happens, moving a child or young person from your home would be discussed and planned to keep the disruption to a minimum. We would hope that you would give the young person a fair trial period before this decision was made and allow us time to find an alternative foster family for them to live with.
Can I take the young person or child in my care on holiday with me?
Yes, we expect the young people and children in your care to enjoy an annual holiday. There may be some children who may not be allowed to go abroad.
Can I adopt a child if I get attached to them?
It depends very much on each child’s individual circumstances, legal status and plan of care.
If you find that your questions still aren't answered or you would like to find out more, please contact us on 0845 094 5651.