Adoption is the legal and permanent transfer of parental responsibility for a child, from birth parents to the adoptive parents. Foster carers do not acquire legal parental responsibility and will work alongside other professionals-and in some cases the birth family-to care for the child. In some cases the Local Authority shares parental responsibility for children, so you may be carrying out duties on our behalf. If you’d like to explore adoption alongside fostering, please call the adoption team on 01275 888 236.
Most children continue to have regular contact with their own families, who remain an essential part of their lives. The role of a foster carer is to positively support this relationship. the frequency of contact will depend on the needs of the child.
It doesnt matter if you own your home or whether you’re in a council accommodation. provide your house is a safe place to be, and you have spare room, you can foster
Yes. Many of our foster carer work full or part time. However, you will need to demonstrate how you will be available to meet the needs of the child/young person you have in placement. If you foster children age 0-5, one carer is expected to stay at home with the child.
Potential carers can continue to work during the assessment process and our assessing social workers will visit at a mutually convenient time wherever possible
No. A child may need a home for just a few days or on a long term basis and some may need specialist care. We’ll help you work out what type of fostering is best for you, based on your circumstances and preferences.
You don’t need professional qualifications, but if you can listen to others, work as a team, be patient and show resilience, that’s a great start. The skills you don’t have, we’ll teach you.
Foster carers with or without children are welcome to apply! If you do have children, their needs will be taken into account during assessment.
Please contact us to discuss your circumstances at an early stage. We’ll consider whether your condition would put you or a child at any risk. We request a medical report on all applicants and will seek specialist advice if necessary.
Just get in touch and we’ll discuss whether we can fast track your application.
Smoking does not prevent you from offering foster care with us, however we cannot place children under six-years-old with someone who smokes. Given that living in a smoking household does present an increased health risk, we would encourage you to give up and can provide support to help.
People with criminal convictions or cautions can foster, although much depends on the seriousness of the offence, how long ago it was, and how you’ve lived your life since. You won’t be able to foster if you have certain convictions or offences against children. Please contact us to discuss the issue in confidence.
We pay a generous allowance to cover the costs of caring for children and young people and any necessary equipment. You will also receive a weekly fee according to your skills, experience and level of training acquired. For current rates, request an information pack. Fostering fees could be taxable. To find out if you would have to pay tax on your fostering household income, please contact the Fostering Network helpline on 02074 019 582.
If you don’t have a child living with you, you will not receive allowances or fees. Exceptions are made for some specialist foster carers.
All our foster carers are automatically provided with free membership of the Fostering Network, the leading national fostering charity, giving them a range of benefits including legal protection insurance.
We provide a strong support network, including your own supervising social worker, access to counselling, health, education and other specialist professionals, a 24-hour advice line, ongoing professional development and regular fostering forums.
You need to be available for the child, so ideally at least one carer should be based at home or have the flexibility to return home if needed. If all carers work full time, please contact us so that we can explore other options such as respite.
The most common reasons are not having a spare room and not having enough spare time in your day (e.g. both partners work full time). There may also be certain criminal convictions that could stop you fostering. But please get in touch if you’re concerned about any aspect of your suitability and we can discuss the matter in confidence.
Children come into care from various backgrounds, for several reasons. Many have had difficult starts in life, so at times their behaviour can be challenging. Some may also have health problems or learning difficulties. With love, patience and commitment, you’ll find the difference you can make as their foster carer is extremely rewarding.
You can foster regardless of your sexuality or marital status. As a single carer, a strong support network of wider family and friends can help.