Starting your journey as a foster carer can be daunting, which is why we at The Fostering Foundation are here to guide you through the process, every step of the way.
From choosing the type of care that would suit you, to what you can expect during home visits, read on for how we can support your fostering journey.
Who can become a foster carer?
It is a common myth that only families or couples can foster. The reality is that there are very few barriers to entry and we, at the Fostering Foundation, welcome a diverse variety of people who can care for the individual needs of children in need – including people within the LGTBQ+ community, as well as single people and those with disabilities.
The only stipulations are that you must be over 21 years of age, have a spare bedroom for each child in your care (or enough room for siblings to share) and be available for a given amount of time.
Once you apply, you will be assessed by The Fostering Foundation’s friendly team to work out what kind of foster care is right for you, and to ensure you are able to meet the needs of a child placed in your care.
What should I expect from the assessment process?
The fostering process can take up to six months, beginning with your appointment with one of our team at The Fostering Foundation. Together, we will explore your motivations for becoming a foster carer and the type of foster care you are interested in and best suited for.
We will support you as you complete your application forms and begin your background checks and references. These include a DBS check and health assessment. During these checks, you can expect to receive multiple home visits from social workers and The Fostering Foundation to assess health and safety and the suitability of your living arrangements.
Please note that the type of home will not preclude you from fostering – houses, flats and mobile homes are all acceptable as long as they meet the criteria for health and safety and a spare room. You do not even need to own your home, provided your landlord is agreeable to you fostering!
What training will I receive?
Once you have passed all your checks, interviews and home visits, you will be enrolled on our bespoke training package. During assessment you will also start to learn about what fostering entails through completing the Skills to Foster workshops which are run by Fostering Foundation staff.
We offer training with a particular emphasis on therapeutic approaches, including training in Attachment Theory, PACE and Therapeutic Parenting.
We also offer training in First Aid, Child Protection, Managing Behaviours, Gender Identity, Internet Safety and Managing Feelings for Carers – and much more.
We offer ongoing courses and refreshers throughout your time as a foster carer, so you can stay up to date and fully prepared for all that fostering may entail.
What kind of support will I get from The Fostering Foundation?
From your initial appointment, you will experience support from our network of social workers, teachers and support staff at every step of your journey, to ensure you and the young people in your care are fully supported on a day to day basis.
In addition, we have created local networks – called “hubs” – of foster carers in your area, connecting you with fellow foster carers for regular support, advice and a community of like-minded people to lean on and learn from.
As well as regular training and updates throughout the year, we can also help you with practical details – such as getting financial support for foster carers, and much more.