Are you fit enough to foster children?
Fit Enough To Apply?
The first question you need to ask yourself before considering applying to be a foster parent is are you fit and well enough to foster? Because fostering a child can be emotionally and physically demanding.
Foster Carer Medical Check
At the start of your application process you will see your GP to complete a full medical which is paid for by your assessing agency. This is a legal requirement for all applicants.
The medical check will cover areas such as your health background, lifestyle and general family medical history. Being disabled will not necessarily prevent you from being considered to foster.
Fostering A Child FAQs
Yes: Providing they are not of a sexual nature or crimes of violence.
No: You can be single, in a relationship or married.
Yes: There is no maximum age for fostering a child. There is a minimum age requirement of 21.
Yes: You do not have to have lots of money, you only need to be financially stable.
You will receive a fostering allowance and a fee for each child placed in your home.
No: You may rent or be a home owner.
Yes: All children over 2 years need a room of their own.
Yes: Generally your Benefits will not be affected. Claiming a disability allowance; medical or health conditions could affect the type of caring you could do.
Yes: Only one adult needs to be available at any one time. Both may work and still be foster parents however clear plans have to be available to look after birth children.
Yes: Both: There are thousands of people who earn a reasonable living caring for a single child or groups of children.
A private agency carer can earn much more than the average national wage.
No: It depends on how long you have permission to live in the UK.
Fostering a Child is different than parenting
It’s caring for someone else’s child along with a network of other people and in most cases, the child’s parent(s). Foster parents don’t have Parental Authority therefore can’t make the big decisions that they do with their own children. Therefore fostering is not the same as parenting.
Here are some questions to consider before applying to foster..
Which types would you consider; such as babies, children, teenagers, special needs, mother and baby?
How will you manage arguments or clashes of personality?
How easily do you take on board other people’s opinions?
Could you be flexible enough to accept direction from social workers?
How easily could you change the way you work with different placements?
How will fostering a child or children and being a foster family change what you do in your home?
How will it effect your children, relatives, friends and social life?
How much help would you get from friends and family?
Who will you rely on if you need someone to talk to or for some practical help?
Which age group of children will get on best with you and your family?
We Help All Sorts Of People To Foster
If you feel fostering a child or older children is for you, there are opportunities for everyone, regardless of your gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, age, faith, dis–ability or relationship status.
Agencies are looking for people with enough time, energy, patience, and the ability to relate well with a child and the people involved in their care.
You’ll need a spare bedroom and the living space in a stable home which you might rent or own. Check out the National Careers Service job description – then come back!
Are new carers wanted in my area?
Yes: There are vacancies everywhere in the UK. There is a serious shortage of caring homes for children where you live.
So use our free national help to find the right agency and to ‘get it right first time’. Discover your potential! Contact us today and start to apply for fostering online.
About Fostering children and Young People
Children from birth to 18 years of age, and from various cultural and social backgrounds need to be placed in care for many different reasons.
Circumstances will vary dependent on their individual needs and family background.
Whatever the reasons, they will often be separated from their parents, siblings, wider family and friends, and will need foster carers to help them at a difficult time.
Many will be deeply upset about being away from their home and may be “difficult” to care for when they first arrive, however, this doesn’t mean that all children in foster care are “problem children” and many, given sufficient time to settle, are likely to be as “difficult” as any other child.
Some children and young people will need very experienced and specialist trained foster carers because of their difficulties or abuse, and these will be more complicated to care for. However, some are relieved to be placed in care because of the abuse they have suffered, and settle in quickly.
Many children say later that they felt being fostered was a better option than remaining with their parents, and many felt their foster carers worked hard to help them.
Caring for a child
Foster caring can be challenging and demanding for all the family, and the family values such as respect, honesty, care and love can be tested by foster children who may have grown and developed with distorted family values such as, dishonesty, disrespect and non-caring parents.
In the beginning, life in an ‘ordinary’ family will be a new, challenging experience for most foster children.
Meeting a child’s needs
Settling children and young people into a new foster home has differences but many similarities to settling any child. Children like to be called their favourite name, they want people to know what they like doing, their likes and dislikes and that any special religious or cultural preferences will be respected.
Foster carers need to ask a child about their dummy, teddy or a comfort blanket. The clothes children arrive in are important and should never be criticised or thrown away, they are a significant part of a child’s identity and an important physical link with their family.
Often foster carers need to make some changes in their day to day life to meet the needs of each child; a four year old will have very different needs to a fourteen year old girl or boy, and they will of course have different likes and dislikes.
Flexibility is a must for foster carers, and how flexible the fostering family can be, will determine the number and different types of placements the foster carer can look after.
Applying To Foster A Child
Starting the journey?
Being a foster carer is one of the most rewarding careers out there, but being with the wrong agency can mean not having the number, type of placements and financial benefits you expected. Contact us and we will find you suitable agencies in your area with vacancies.
Hopefully you will decide to take the next step and if so, we would like to thank you for starting the exciting journey to make a difference and becoming a foster carer.