Yes, we require you to have a spare bedroom available for every child under 18 living in the home.
Your own children can share a bedroom, but children in foster care cannot share a room with the foster carers’ own children. Foster siblings can share with each other depending on age and gender, but they may need their own bedrooms in future depending on how long the placement is needed.
Yes, you can be a foster carer if you rent your own home or if you are a homeowner. If you rent, you will need permission from your landlord or landlady.
Yes, it doesn’t matter whether you are single, married, divorced or co-habiting. Providing you have a spare bedroom, you could foster as a single person.
Yes, many foster carers have dogs, cats and all manner of household pets. Every animal is different, and all your household pets will be assessed as part of the application process.
There is no maximum age for foster carers, but you should be physically and emotionally healthy enough to meet the demands of caring for a child. Promoting a healthy, active lifestyle for young people is also important.
We usually expect at least one foster carer to be available full-time for the role. If applying as a single person, consider how you will be able to take the child to/from school and other appointments, as well as attend training. Providing you can meet these requirements, you can work and still be a foster carer.
Depression or a history of mental ill health will not necessarily stop you from fostering. What is most important is what you can offer a young person. All applicants must evidence a good standard of physical and mental health during the assessment process.
Yes, but we will only consider children 5 years and up. As a smoker, you cannot foster children under 5 with Family Care.
The short answer is yes, but it might be difficult. Young people in foster care must often attend many more meetings and appointments than other children, and you will be responsible for transporting to/from these meetings. You must also attend training at our offices.
Having a criminal conviction doesn’t automatically prevent you from fostering. A lot will depend on the nature of the offence and when it occurred, but you must declare this during the initial stages of your enquiry. An enhanced DBS check is undertaken as part of all fostering assessments in the UK.
Yes, but you must demonstrate your ability to manage your finances. Fostering allowances are only paid when you have a child in placement, so it’s important you demonstrate that you can manage your finances without relying on a fostering allowance.
The process usually takes 4-6 months depending on your availability to complete the assessment.
Family Care provide a full training programme for the calendar year. All applicants must complete preparation training, and all approved foster carers in the home must complete mandatory training.
Training is held at our Preston and Wolverhampton offices. A full calendar of training courses is sent to foster carers in advance. Travel expenses to/from training are covered at 25p a mile.
Our foster carers can expect to receive between £350 - £650 per week for each foster child. Payments are made on a 4-weekly basis.
Foster carers are classed as self-employed and must return their own tax forms. Foster carers benefit from a fixed tax exemption and receive tax relief for every week a child is in the home. For more information visit the gov website.
Fostering should not affect the benefits you receive if they come from a local council, a voluntary organisation or a private organisation. If you currently claim benefits, we recommend you speak with an advisor for more details.
This depends on the referrals in your area, your skills and experience, and your flexibility. It is uncommon for our newly approved carers to wait more than 2-months for their first placement.
Yes, you are the one who decides to open your home to a foster child. We will discuss matching preferences when you become approved, and we will look for a match that fits with you and your family.
We always try to arrange for you to meet the young person before the placement starts. However, this isn’t always possible, especially in emergency situations. Also, consider how meeting several sets of foster parents would feel for a young person. For most placements, discussions will take place over the phone or with local authority professionals.
This varies depending on the needs of the young person. If you can only support a child for a fixed period, then we’ll have to make that clear in any offers to the local authority.
Your supervising social worker will meet with you regularly for updates and to check how you’re doing. You’ll also be supported by our support services team and our in-house therapy team, as well as your fellow foster carers. For out-of-hours emergencies you will have 24/7 phone support.
If you need respite, speak to your supervising social worker and we will try to arrange this. It’s important you make us aware of any respite requirements in advance. We usually like to arrange respite internally.
We expect children in your care to be treated the same as your own birth children. Part of your weekly fostering allowance is for ‘Activities & Holidays’.
If things aren’t working out and we’ve tried everything we can, it may be that we have to end the placement. For most placements there will be a 28-day ‘notice period’, which allows the local authority to look for another home for the young person.
Adoption is looking after very young children (usually under 3) and adopters become the child’s legal parent. Fostering involves looking after children of all ages, but the local authority remains the legal parent for the child. Check out our article on the difference between fostering and adoption