Welcome to Simply Fostering
We make applying to be a foster carer easier!
See what we can do for you.
We provide a free, independent fostering service designed to reduce confusion about fostering and to help you to apply to be a foster carer. Our web site is a one stop place to find all the information you need about fostering children. Click here to watch our video.
I’m new to this
Find out here how to start the process and if it’s for you, we’ll help you to find a suitable fostering agency where you live.
About Fostering – Quick links
Just take a minute to think about yourself…
Think about your life experience, how you were bought up, the good times and the not so good and how you fixed problems along the way.
Remember your successes, how you coped with failures and how people helped you to become the person you are today.
Now ask yourself…
Have you been fair, nurturing and caring?
Did you try to keep friendships and were you able to see other people’s side of things and help them solve problems.
Were you able to hide your feelings when it was necessary and did helping come naturally?
Then your personal experiences, maturity and attributes will help you to be a successful foster carer.
But I’ve no experience…
Ok, you might or might not have any actual experience of fostering children, but you have a lot of resources and skills it takes to work with people. So if you’re interested in a new career, you have the potential to be a foster carer.
Maybe my life experience means I could…
Now you know you’re eligible, don’t let those doubtful feelings get in the way because when you do what comes naturally, a caring career will give you more happiness, self-satisfaction and independence.
What about my age…
Oh, and a child who needs supporting and keeping safe from harm, doesn’t mind how old you might be.
Neither do agencies, you just need to be 21 or over, and fit and well.
Complete our form, and see how we can help!
What people say about us
Hi Annette, a big thank you, we got approved last week and and we’re looking forward to having our first foster child who is coming soon. The foster agency we chose has been great and our social worker is lovely. Take care,
After filling in the form we were called by two local agencies who wanted to visit next day so we met them and chose ‘………’ because they could help us to foster even if I had to keep on working for a while,
Hi Ian, I want to say thank you for all you did to help me change my fostering agency, I would not have been able to do it without your professional, honest and friendly help and advice,
Is being a foster carer for you?
People who care
Do you want to make a real difference in children’s lives, and keep them safe from more harm?
UK foster parents come from all backgrounds and with a range of experiences just like yours.
Parents, child minders, youth workers, teachers, nurses, social workers and adults with parenting experience.
If you take the next step, you will be assessed and approved by an agency panel to care, promote and encourage children.
You will be classed as self employed by the Revenue and Benefits Dept (Tax Office), and working from home as a full or part time foster parent working in the social care services in your area.
You can choose from different types of placements you look after such as babies, children, teenagers, mother and babies, asylum seeking children or a mix of different types if more than one placement.
You can be a respite, short term or long term carer. Any income you receive will depend on number of children you foster parent.
A looked after child doesn’t want to be seen as different, they want to live like other children and want to stay in touch with their family.
The children need to know why they are in care, they want to be listened to and most of all, they want to be treated honestly, fairly and with respect by their foster parents.
Most of all, children need a safe and nurturing home.
All about foster caring
Fostering is a service that promotes, supports and nurtures children in a carer’s family home by providing an opportunity for children and young people to be safe and to experience a positive, stimulating family life.
Carers look after abused children and young people and those at risk of harm who can’t live with their parents or other family.
Accommodation is usually for short term, temporary care to give parents time and professional help to fix problems or to help children or young people who need support during difficult times in their lives.
When the problems are resolved well enough, and parents and/or social services feel it’s time, children will return home providing their parents are able to look after them safely.
Also children might be placed with extended family members depending on an assessment of their suitability.
There is also long term care for children who cannot return home for the foreseeable future.
Some children may be adopted, and young people will take the next step to live independently.
Foster homes are provided by approved adults who are self employed and contracted to an agency who approved them.
Independent (Private) Fostering Agencies pay an allowance of around £400 a week to carers for each child or young person they look after.
The allowance covers day to day needs of the child.
It includes a substantial reward element, which pays enough money for people to consider being full or part time professional carers.
Who we work with
Local authority (LA) or an Independent agency?
Independent agencies appeared in the early nineties.
They became necessary because Local authorities (councils) couldn’t find or hold on to enough foster parents for all their children needing care.
LAs always try to use their own carers first so LA carers can have more regular placements, but agencies usually take children from a much wider area which improves numbers of placements available.
Agencies might specialise in baby placements, teenagers, children with special needs, mother and baby or long term placements.
An independent agency usually pays a higher level of allowances and fees their social workers will be more available than LA’s because they have a better ratio of workers to carers.
More foster parent training courses and support groups are available.
Council fostering allowance and payments
Council (local authority) foster parents can be paid two types of payments, a weekly allowance to pay for looking after a child, and a separate amount to reward carers for their work.
The allowance, which is paid according to children’s ages, ranges from £209 fostering a 16 to 17-year-old in London, to £119 a week fostering a baby outside of London and south-east.
The Fostering Network (UK’s leading charity), found that a fifth of council foster parents said their fostering allowance did not cover costs of caring for a child.
Councils do not have to pay their carers any reward element, and no government guidelines exist about the reward that should be paid. The Fostering Network’s research found that 47% of UK carers are paid something, however 53% said they get nothing.
Simply Fostering members are from the Independent agency sector.