Taking the next step
If you have children, it is important that you talk with them at an early stage about being part of a fostering family.
Becoming a foster carer and fostering children holds many challenges for fostering families. It is a big step that everyone in the household should approve of and be fully involved in, the decision to foster.
The First Step
To begin, simply get in touch with us by completing our Enquiry Form.
We will find the Agencies near you who have vacancies. You choose the one that best suits you.
If you decide to go ahead, you’ll be asked to fill out the Agency Application Form which requires you to give consent for the completion of statutory checks, including a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check, and for your references to be contacted.
Anyone living with you over the age of 18 years will also be subject to checks.
How to be a foster carer – Fostering assessment
Everyone who wants to become a foster carer has to undertake a fostering assessment. The assessment is about how to be a foster carer and exploring your individual skills and experiences. The assessment also provides you with information about foster children and how becoming a foster carer will affect you, your family, and your friends. The assessment takes 4 to 6 months.
Foster carers have to set clear boundaries, they have to be consistent, aware of children’s feelings, and be seen to be fair by foster children. Foster carers need to build trust and mutual respect whilst expecting that family rules will be tested.
Most often, foster children are placed on a short term basis so foster carers need to be able to let go and to support children they have fostered to move on. Fostering is ‘parenting plus’, and love is not enough.
Fostering can be hard work at times, but the rewards far outweigh the difficulties. Foster carers can work from home, develop a professional career, and use their skills to keep children safe in a loving home environment. Birth children have their patience tested and their belongings ‘ borrowed’ sometimes, but they benefit as they grow from experiencing the things foster children don’t have, and how much they do.
How to choose the right agency
There are both Local Authority and Independent Fostering Agencies and every Agency has vacancies for foster carers. Before enquiring or applying to become a foster carer, make sure that you choose the right agency for you and your family by using our free fostering agency matching service. We are here to help!
By registering with us you are entitled to the Simply Fostering Essentials Handbook, a wall to wall guide to fostering.
An A-Z comprehensive guide to a range of useful fostering terms. Essential reading for any newbie foster carer. Includes subjects as varied as:
- Parental Responsibility
- Managing Behaviour
- Human Rights
- Eat Disorders
Being a foster carer is one of the most rewarding careers out there, but being with the wrong agency can mean not having the support and allowances you expected to be a successful foster carer.
How to foster
A video about a foster carers experience
An experienced foster carer of 20 years talks about how to foster, provides tips on fostering, and chats about her experiences.