We are looking for ordinary people who have the time and inclination to offer care to children and young people. No formal qualifications are necessary. We need foster carers from all backgrounds with different skills and experiences to care for children.
Children who live with foster carers will often continue to have some form of contact with their birth families and foster carers need to be able to support the child to manage this. Foster carers are important members of a team of professionals who work together to improve outcomes for children.
Fostering is divided into three categories: temporary, permanent and short breaks.
Temporary Foster Care
Temporary foster carers look after children of all ages who cannot remain at home, whilst plans are made regarding their future. This involves caring for children in your own home whilst working with a team to return them to their family or support them to move on to permanent families. This can mean caring for children for a few days or longer until permanent plans are made for their future.
Permanent Foster Care
Permanent foster carers look after children after they have lived with temporary foster carers and a decision has been made that they cannot live with their birth family. These children are likely to be older and could be on their own or part of a sibling group. They will have had some difficult life experiences which can affect their behaviour, health and emotional wellbeing.
A permanent carer may end up caring for a child or children throughout their childhood and supporting them through their transition to adult life. These children may still continue to have some form of contact with their birth families and permanent foster carers need to be able to support the child to manage this.
Under new Legislation, all young people in foster care are entitled to remain within their foster placement up to 21 years of age if this is felt to be in the best interest of the young person. Such placements are then referred to as “Continuing Foster Care”. The aim of continuing foster care is to provide young people with a more gradual transition out of care whilst maintaining supportive and positive relationships.
Short Break Care
Short break carers look after children of all ages and offer children and existing foster families a break. Short break carers are approved temporary foster carers who may have work or other commitments. They provide short breaks to children for anything from an overnight or a weekend to a period of several weeks.
We will accept an application from you if you are:
- single, married, in a same sex relationship or living together in an enduring family relationship
- fit and healthy (Caring for children can be challenging physically, mentally and emotionally. The health and lifestyle of applicants is given careful consideration.)
- a non-smoker if you are caring for children under the age of 5 (Our requirement is that you must have stopped smoking for a year before you are approved. This includes the use of e-cigarettes.)
- A spare bedroom for children over the age of 18 months.
If you make an enquiry about fostering, a member of our team will visit you to learn more about you and provide more details about preparatory groups and the assessment process. The assessment is carried out using a competency based approach which will allow you to demonstrate your existing skills and knowledge.
- visits to your home
- individual interviews
- statutory checks including health and police
- references from people who know you including a family member
- reference from any previous significant partner and an employee reference where appropriate
An experienced member of our team will guide and support you throughout your fostering journey. Approved foster carers join a competency based scheme and must attend mandatory training and support groups. This will help to support your development and enhance your skills as a carer.
In return we provide a fostering allowance to cover the day to day expenses of caring for a child and a fee in recognition of your role and contribution.