“We aim to provide a wide range of quality foster placements to children and young people of all ages and backgrounds.”
There is no such person as a typical foster carer. We have foster carers doing all sorts of fostering with children and young people of all ages and backgrounds.
The type of accommodation does not really matter, such as owning your home or renting from the council or privately, the important thing is that you have enough space to accommodate a child. In most cases this requires you to have a spare bedroom. Babies may sleep in a cot in the foster carers’ room but will need a room of their own at 12 months. Carers who look after more than one child, who are not related, are required to each have a separate bedroom for each child.
Are there any restrictions?
We would need to consider your individual circumstances and the type of fostering you are interested in doing, along with the ages of any children you would be caring for. We also need to ensure that your health enables you to meet the needs of the child. If you wish to care for children under 2 years we do not usually approve people who smoke. You (and your partner) and all members of the household must have been in the UK for 5 years in order for us to be able to carry out the relevant local authority and police checks. The youngest member of your family would usually be at least 12 months when applying for fostering.
Everyone in the household over 18 will have a ‘police check’. Anyone with an offence against children will not be considered. If a household member has any convictions or cautions within the last five years, we would want to discuss these with you. Anyone with a conviction for violence or a crime involving violence in the past eight years would not usually be considered.
All foster carers receive allowances for the children placed with them and you will be classed as a self employed. If you are coming forward to foster a child not known to you, you will be paid a fee. You are also provided with essential equipment for your placement (i.e. cot)
See Financial Support - Fees and Allowances
We will take applications from people who are unemployed or employed but this may affect the type of fostering you are able to do.
At the early stage applicants are asked to have a full medical with their doctor, which we pay for. Fostering can be stressful and it is important people are up to the job. There may be some medical conditions that prevent you from fostering or affect the type of fostering you do.
If you are currently receiving or have received treatment for any health issue, please discuss this with us to see if you can proceed with your application.
Marital status & family
We welcome applications from single people, male or female, married or unmarried couples, people who are divorced or widowed. In order to assess the stability of the relationship it is unlikely we will consider applications from couples who have been together for less than two years.
We welcome applications from lesbians and gay men.
Race and culture
We aim to place children in families where their religious, language and cultural needs will be met.
We accept applications from all people whatever their religious beliefs, and from those who have none.
Applications are accepted from people who have pets. Pet owners will be asked questions about control and management of their pets. We would not approve someone who had a dog identified by legislation as being dangerous.
Due to the health risks to children, people who smoke will not be approved to care for children aged less than two years or for children with respiratory problems.
Training and support
All applicants attend an assessment and training groups as part of the approval process.
Once approved you are required to attend regular training courses. There are support opportunities to assist you in caring for children and young people. You will also have a supervising social worker who is responsible to provide you with support, advice and guidance to help you care for the foster children you foster.
The next step is to attend one of our regular information meetings and have the opportunity to talk to both a social worker and current foster carers about your interests and any concerns.
If you are not sure whether you could foster or would like more information contact us via telephone 01274 434331 or using our online enquiry form