Fostering Frequently Asked Questions
My partner and I aren’t married, can we foster?
Yes! You can be married, single, in a heterosexual or same-sex relationship.
I have young children living at home. Can I foster?
Yes! You can be a parent, or you can have no children.
I work full time, can I foster?
Yes! You can work part time, full time, or foster caring could be your new career. Both partners working full time can sometimes cause problems.
I’m retired, can I foster?
Yes! As long as you are reasonably fit and active you can foster.
Do I need a spare room?
All foster children must have a room of their own, unless the child is under the age of two years, in which case they can share with you.
Will I be paid for fostering?
Yes! Foster care is a rewarding career path, and you will of course receive payment. In addition, generous weekly allowances are paid to cover the child’s living expenses. Other occasional allowances for birthdays and Christmas are also paid in respect of looked-after children. Financial help is also given in respect of essential equipment like car seats and stair gates. Monies paid to carers do not affect benefits, and dependent on earnings may be non-taxable.
I rent, will I still be able to foster?
Yes! Whether you own or rent your home doesn’t matter.
I have a criminal conviction, will this matter?
Conviction for offences against children generally debar anyone from becoming a foster carer. Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks are undertaken for all applicants and for everyone over 16 living in the house.
What skills do I need to be a foster carer?
To be a foster carer, you must care about children and young people, be patient, understanding and non-judgemental. Foster children can sometimes display extreme emotions, so foster carers must be resilient. However, foster children can improve enormously with their foster families, so optimism is key.
Will I need special training?
All foster carers must undertake the ‘Skills to Foster’ course to help them in their new profession, and on-going training is available for all carers after approval. You also have the opportunity to work towards QCF level 3 in Social Care! You must attend a minimum of 3 training courses each year, but you can attend more to gain further qualifications.
I am an ex-smoker, will this affect my application?
So long as you have not smoked for at least 12 months, this will not affect your application.
Last Modified: 05/12/2018
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