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Fostering - Frequently Asked Questions

Who chooses the gender and age of children I foster?

This is discussed with you from the very beginning. You will be provided with advice and during the assessment process your social worker will discuss with you the age and gender of the children that you wish to foster. If you have children of your own their age, gender and needs will also be considered as part of the assessment to ensure appropriate matching for your child and your family.

I have children of my own - How will they be affected by Fostering?

We recommend that you discuss your decision to Foster as a family, and keep your child or children updated on the progress of the application. Throughout the process the assessing social will explore fostering with your own children and the impact this could have upon them and this will be evidenced within the final assessment.

Your children will be invited to attend support groups and will have the opportunity to feedback their experiences on a regular basis.

The process can take up to six months between application and approval which can be a very long time for some children, especially those who expect the foster child to turn up within a week!!

I don't own my own home - does this matter?

You do not have to own your own home to become a Foster Carer. You may live in council or private rented accommodation. It is important however that you have a spare room for the use of the foster child. Sharing bedrooms is possible but it will depend on the age and needs of the child.

What kind of checks do I need to undertake?

We ask you to undergo DBS (police) checks, medical checks, local authority checks and ex- partner checks etc. All checks are carried out to assist us in ensuring that children in care are kept safe from any harm or abuse while they are fostered. If you have any concerns about any checks please call us and we can discuss this with you.

What if I have a criminal record - can I still foster?

If you have been convicted of any crimes against children or young people or any violent crimes then you will not be able to foster. Any minor offences that have been committed should be discussed with the social worker that undertakes your assessment. It is recommended that you disclose all convictions at the beginning of your assessment.

How long does the approval process take?

Approximately 6 months from receipt of your completed application form.

Do I need qualifications in child care?

No you do not need any specific qualifications to become a Foster Carer. However, life experience and maturity are very important factors in caring for vulnerable children.

If you would like to be a foster carer for the therapeutic fostering scheme you will need to have demonstrated experience in caring for children or young people with complex needs. Ideally you will have a professional background within social care, education, youth justice, youth work, health or residential care.