What's on your mind?
You might be interested in fostering, but there may be a few concerns that prevent you from finding out more. In this section we try to address some of these, but if you’re still not sure, please contact us.
I’m worried about the effect on my family
Fostering involves your whole family, and can be perceived as a complete change to normal life, with everyone from partners to children having to make allowances and compromises in order to accommodate a fostered child. However, speak to a foster carer, or a member of the fostering team and you will hear first hand how it becomes ‘just normal’, a phrase often repeated by experienced carers. Training is given as part of becoming an approved carer, which enables care for the fostered child and support for the family they are living with.
What about my own children?
For those interested in fostering who already have children at home, the impact of a fostered child can be a worry. It is important to involve your children throughout the process, to make sure their input and feelings are heard. The idea that children have to share their parents with others can be difficult. Feedback from most carers' children is that fostering is an enjoyable experience for them, providing many opportunities they wouldn’t normally have to meet new people, learn from them and share experiences. The fostering team organise outings for the children of foster carers to recognise their input and allow them to share their experiences. Watch the video and read the first hand account from birth children of foster carers for their views on being part of a fostering family.
Contact the fostering team today for further information.
What about finances?
Foster carers are paid a generous allowance for each child in their care. There are different rates depending on the age of the child or young person and the foster carer’s training level. For details on the rates request an information pack. You may also find our commonly asked questions useful.
What if I have a criminal record?
There are certain criminal convictions which will automatically rule out someone from fostering, these are largely those concerning violence and sexual offences against both adults and children. Other types of convictions will be looked into as part of the assessment, with enhanced checks conducted. Honesty is the best policy from the start, so if you have a query, ask the fostering team.
What support is there?
There can be a perception that once you are an approved foster carer you are on your own.
This could not be further from the truth:
- Newly approved carers are ‘matched’ to a mentor, an experienced carer, who can provide advice and support whenever the need arises.
- Each carer has a designated supervising social worker available to support them throughout their career as a foster carer.
- Every child and young person who is fostered will have their own social worker who will provide them with support and guidance.
- An out of hours emergency team is also on hand to provide additional support.
- The fostering team will pay for your yearly subscription to either the Fostering Network or Fostertalk who supply independent support for foster carers.
Call: 0800 085 7072