Often one of the first questions people have is whether they would be considered suitable to foster a child or young person.
The good news is that if you think you’d like to foster, we’re pretty sure you’ll be able to. Below is a list of what we consider to be the essential requirements for a foster carer.
- You like caring for children and young people and enjoy their company.
- You have some child care experience. This can be caring for your own children or other people's and can include working with children.
- You are able to work alongside other people important in the child’s life such as social workers, teachers, parents and other family members.
- You don’t have a police record for violence or offences against children. If you have a criminal record for other offences, these do not necessarily rule you out, but would need further discussion as part of the assessment process.
- You don’t have a dog listed on the Dangerous Dogs Register (you can have a dog that isn’t and foster).
- You understand, or are prepared to learn, about how children might behave when they have been abused or neglected.
- You have enough space in your home, a spare bedroom, and it is clean and safe.
- You are willing to attend training and support groups.
- You are at least 21 years old (or 18 if you want to be considered as a befriender on the Short Breaks Scheme for Children with Disabilities).
- You are happy to undergo a fostering assessment where we can learn more about you and your family and visit you at home. As part of this you must be willing for us to contact agencies and people who can comment, for example, on your skills with children. We will seek to interview ex partners with who you have shared childcare. You will also need to have a medical carried out by your G.P.
- You are a non – smoker if wanting to care for children under the age of 5 years, or wanting to be a foster carer for the short breaks scheme for a child of any age.
- You are not applying to more than one fostering agency at a time.
Things that Aren't Important
- Whether you’re single, married, divorced or living with a partner.
- It doesn’t matter whether you’re single or in a relationship or whether that relationship is with someone of the same or opposite sex.
- Whether you have a medical condition or disability so long as it is stable and does not affect your ability to care for a child.
- Whether you own your own home or rent your accommodation so long as your tenancy is stable.
- What ethnic, cultural or religious background you come from. We have children from different communities and backgrounds and we need families who reflect their background.
- Whether you work in paid or unpaid employment, are not working or are retired. We have a wide range of fostering schemes to suit a wide range of individual circumstances.
If you are interested in finding out more about becoming a foster carer with us please contact us.