How long will the assessment take?
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.
Is there an age limit for Foster Carers?
There is no upper limit for Foster Carers providing you are fit enough to undertake the tasks involved and have enough life experience to provide a safe family environment for children.
Can I be a Foster Carer if I am single?
Can I be a Foster Carer if I have a job?
Yes, but the agency would have to be satisfied that there is enough flexibility to undertake the fostering tasks.
Can I foster if I am Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Transgender?
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.
Will I need to have a medical?
Yes, your own GP will be asked to complete a medical questionnaire.
Can I foster if I smoke?
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.
Can I foster if I have a criminal record?
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.
Will I be paid for being a Foster Carer?
Yes, you will receive an allowance and a payment for your skills dependent on the age and circumstance of the child you have and your skills and experience.
Will I pay tax on the money I receive as a Foster Carer?
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.
Am I classed as an employee of Excel Fostering?
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.
Will I have to undertake any training?
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 following approval.
Will I get any say in who comes to live with me?
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 them.
Will I meet other Foster Carers?
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.