Fostering

Providing a family home for children on a short term basis, longer term or permanently

Everyday Heroes

If you are interested in fostering please read the information below and then follow the link to submit an enquiry. Remember you can be single, married or living with a partner. Aside from some inevitable practical stipulations, the most important thing is to be there and care. And you won't be on your own. We provide ongoing training throughout your time as a carer as well as the opportunity to talk things over during structured mentoring sessions and less formally with fellow foster carers.

In the video link James and Michelle talk about there experiences of the journey to becoming a foster carer.

So please, watch and read on, and if you think you could offer a child a home, complete our enquiry form without delay.

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What is fostering and why is it important?

It may not always be possible for children to live at home with their birth families.  This could be for a number of reasons including abuse, neglect, substance misuse or the child's needs not being met by the birth family. These children's emotional and physical health as well as their development may have been adversely affected by their early life experiences and some may have additional support and learning needs.  Children may need to be looked after away from their family for a few days, a few months or sometimes on a longer term basis.

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.

We are looking for ordinary people who have the time and inclination to offer care to a children and young people. No formal qualifications are necessary. We need foster carers from all backgrounds with different skills and experiences.

There are many types of fostering for children of all ages:

  • Temporary foster care
  • Permanent foster care
  • Short breaks care

Permanent Foster Care

Permanent foster carers look after children when 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 and this can affect their behaviour, health and emotional wellbeing.

Children who live with permanent foster carers will 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 their contact.  This can mean caring for children throughout their childhood and supporting them through their transition to adult life.

A day in the life of a permanent foster carer

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.

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 either work or have other commitments and provide short breaks to children for overnights or during a holiday period only.

What will we ask from you?

An application to become a foster carer will be accepted from you if you are single, married, in a same sex relationship or living together in an enduring family relationship.  Caring for children can be challenging physically, mentally and emotionally.  In recognition of this, foster carers need to be fit and healthy.  The health and lifestyle of applicants is given careful consideration when an enquiry is made.

No child under the age of five years will be placed in a household where anyone is a smoker.  Our requirement is that you must have stopped smoking for a year before you can be approved as a foster carer.

Children over the age of 18 months who live with you will need their own bedroom.

If you make an enquiry about fostering, a member of our Children's Carer team will visit you to learn more about you and provide details about information nights, preparatory groups and the assessment process.  The assessment is carried out using a competency based approach which allows you to demonstrate your existing skills and knowledge.

 The assessment includes:

  • 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

What support will you receive?

As an approved foster carer you can expect to be supported by a member of the Children's Carers Team who will guide and support you through 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 an approved foster 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.

Register your interest

Enquiries

 

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