You may have many questions when you set out on your fostering journey - you can find out some of the answers here.
We know fostering is a big decision to make, so talking about it and finding the right agency for you is really important.
Yes, we have many foster carers who are single. As long as you have the time to dedicate to caring for a child or a young person, your relationship status is not an important factor in determining you suitability to become a foster carer.
Yes, however we will need to satisfied that there is enough flexibility to undertake the fostering tasks.
We welcome people from all backgrounds and walks of life. We want you to have the experience and stability in your life to be able to support a child irrespective of gender, religion, culture, race or sexual orientation.
If anyone in the household smokes you will only be able to foster children over the age of 5. We would expect the home to be a smoke-free environment.
It depends on what you have been convicted of. If there is any offence against a child, no. Some other serious offences will exclude you from fostering. It is important that you inform us from the outset of any criminal convictions or outstanding charges. All applicants and other family members will have to have an enhanced DBS check.
There are generous tax allowances for foster carers which mean that you will probably not pay any tax if you have 1 or 2 children placed and have no other taxable income.
No, foster carers will need to contact the local tax office to register as self-employed and will be responsible for their own tax and national insurance.
Yes, there is initial training during the assessment which will help you to understand the tasks involved and give you a basic understanding of the issues, people and processes that are part of looking after children. There is an expectation that foster carers will attend regular training and support following approval.
Yes, we will contact you with as much information as we have about the child/children and you can decide if you wish to take the placement - you are not obligated to.
Yes, you will meet other carers at training and there will be support groups organised to enable you to get together. Many carers offer informal support to each other, swapping phone numbers, email addresses, meeting up etc.
The assessment process for new foster carers takes approximately 4 months. If you are an experienced carer the transfer from another agency may be quicker.
Applicants and their partners will be required to undergo a DBS criminal record check before becoming a foster carer, so early disclosure of any offences is really helpful. A criminal record will not necessarily preclude you from fostering. We need to know that you are a safe person to look after young people, but we know that having a criminal record doesn’t necessarily make someone unsafe to look after children.
A lot depends on the circumstances, timescale and surrounding background. Offences are assessed confidentially on an individual basis.
There are some criminal offences that will preclude you from becoming a foster carer. If you, your partner, or a member of your household has convictions that relate to sexual or violent offences towards children then you will be unable to foster.
Carers who are in same-sex relationships can become foster carers. You will be assessed in the same way as any other potential carer household.
There are lots of people who foster who have their own birth children.
When a child is placed into a fostering household in which there are birth children, it’s because in our judgement the foster child will fit well into that household.
If you are living with your partner, they will need to have a DBS check and attend basic training. This is because they are part of the fostering household and they will be supporting you, even if you are the main carer.
Anyone living in your home over the age of 18 will also need to have a DBS check.
Yes. You can foster if you live in a flat, as long as you have enough space overall and a spare room for the foster child.
Yes – probably! Lots of people who foster have pets. Sometimes children and young people can benefit by forming strong bonds with pets, helping them settle more easily into your home.
However, some pets can be risky to children and any possible risks are discussed during the assessment process.
Some landlords might need to give you permission before you can foster.
Each child you support will need their own space so it’s essential that you have a spare bedroom for a foster child.
Generally, each foster child needs to have their own bedroom. However, young siblings can normally share a room.
This would normally be discussed as part of the placement planning process.