If you have read this far you are probably giving serious consideration to fostering as a career. Fostering is a huge, life-changing decision and you’ll want to know a lot more about it. Take some time to think through your questions and then get in touch. We will provide further information on anything you need to ask, but in the meantime, here are some of the most frequently asked questions:
Becoming a foster carer
- Anyone over the age of 21 is welcome to apply to foster. Factors such as life experience, training, knowledge, and skills are all taken into account. So please call us to discuss your situation if you are interested in fostering
- Quality Foster Care has no upper limit on age however, matching a placement is dependent on being able to meet the young person’s needs which would be discussed at several points on your journey to fostering. Please get in touch if you want more information.
- Foster carers need to undergo rigorous training and comprehensive checks such as medicals and police checks-this is a requirement by law
- You will also need to have a full UK driving licence and a car; this is for transporting young people to school and contacts etc.
- Children who are looked after will require their own bedroom; so you must have a spare room available for fostering
- You will need to be able to commit to training and assessment (support is offered)
- Quality Foster Care offers 2 weeks paid respite for foster carers, you are effectively paid 54 weeks allowance (subject to child/ren being placed) over a 52-week period
- This is a flexible arrangement which enables the foster carers to ‘buy-in’ support should it be needed and appropriate
The application process can take up to six months.
The Skills to Foster course will help you understand the many skills involved in fostering. Quality Foster Care will work closely with you to ensure that you feel supported and have all the information you need to evaluate whether fostering is right for you and your family.
- Yes, all foster carers undergo a thorough assessment
- Quality Foster Care has a keen matching policy that aims to keep both foster carers and young people safe
- We wouldn’t refer a young person to you without assessing risk prior to contacting you
- There is regular support and supervision for all foster carers-this is what sets us apart from other agencies
- The team at Quality Foster Care are very experienced and able to support you. Some of them have been foster carers themselves so can offer sound advice and guidance
- Quality Foster Care provides a three-day preparation course for potential foster carers called ‘Skills to foster’. This gives potential carers a better understanding of what they can expect when they become foster carers, which enables applicants to make an informed choice about whether to pursue fostering
- Quality Foster Care has a robust assessment process which further supports and informs applicants during the process
- Quality Foster Care are very keen on the ‘matching process’ when referring children to foster carers. We believe that if we can get it right at this point this will reduce the risk of a placement breakdown which is a disruption to both the young person and the fostering family
- Once approved as a foster carer you will be allocated your own Supervising Social Worker (SSW). Quality Foster Care provides regular supervision, support and training-the SSW’s have a relatively low caseload so they are able to offer the support needed. In addition, there are regular meetings within the team so anyone at the office will have a handle on what is going on. This is something we pride ourselves on and that larger organisations tend not to be able to offer-you are more than ‘just a number’ to us so the service you receive is personal
- Quality Foster Care has an out of hours service where support and advice is available 24/7 hours a week 365 days a year so you are never alone should you require assistance
A career as a foster carer is life-changing for you, your family and friends. You will need time to discuss everything, and to feel prepared for these changes. Due to the unique nature of fostering, health, safety and DBS checks have to be particularly thorough.
Yes, fostering is not only ‘a job’ but it is a lifestyle that impacts on the whole family. It is important for you to have discussions with your family and in particular, members of your household if you are considering becoming a foster carer.