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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. Ultimately, you make the decision. You will be provided with advice and during the approval 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.

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

While you are undergoing pre-approval training your children are also invited to a morning preparatory training session. This is designed to give your child/children a basic insight into what fostering may mean for them.

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. It 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's and needs of the child.

What kind of checks do I need to undertake?

We ask you to undergo CRB (police) checks, medical checks, local authority 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.