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Fostering Information for Prospective Carers

If you’re new to fostering and taking the first steps to research and find out more about foster care, it can feel quite daunting. There is tons of information out there and it can be hard to know where to start. Becoming a foster carer is an important decision and one that is going to massively affect your way of life, so it is essential that you take the time to read fostering information, speak to people, and ensure it is the right path for you. 

Family Fostering Partners have compiled some key information to help prospective carers find their footing and take the first steps to find out more about fostering and foster care. More detailed information about each of the topics below can be found across our website. 

Additionally, if you’d prefer to speak to someone directly, please get in touch and we will be happy to provide you with more resources, information, and answer any questions you may have. 

What is fostering?

According to The Fostering Network, the UK’s leading fostering charity, over 65,000 children are living with almost 55,000 foster families across the UK each day. These children rely on foster parents and families to provide them with a safe, nurturing, and loving environment when their birth family can no longer. There are many reasons why a birth family may no longer be able to care for a child but some reasons children enter the care system include neglect, abuse, or abandonment. Foster care ensures that children and young people who need love and support are provided with a safe and positive home environment to grow, learn, and develop. 

To continue to safeguard children across Wales and the rest of the UK, we need more foster families every year. Without these carers, we would not be able to keep up with the demand from vulnerable children and young people who enter the care system.

Who can foster?

To foster in the UK you must be: 

  • Aged 21 or above 
  • Have a spare bedroom in your home 
  • Have enough time to commit to caring for a child full-time

You must also be a full-time resident here in the UK, if you are not a British Citizen then your individual circumstances will need to be discussed with our team. 

Aside from the essential criteria stated above, anyone can foster! We only ask that you have a passion for childcare and are willing to work with us as part of the team, striving to provide the best possible care for children and young people across the region.

You do not need any qualifications or prior experience in childcare to apply as full training and ongoing support is provided to our carers. We always ensure that our carers are equipped with the right skills and knowledge to be great foster parents. Plus, we know that learning doesn’t stop once you are an approved carer and that being a parent is a job you are constantly developing at. That’s why we are on hand to provide 24/7 support to our carers.

Family Fostering Partners encourage applicants from people from all walks of life. There are no barriers to applying and you can foster regardless of your gender, sexual orientation, marital status or disability. 

Types of fostering

Foster care is an umbrella term for many different types of care. No two children will have had the same experiences and so there must be different types of care arrangements to accommodate the needs of all children and young people. 

These include, but aren’t limited to: 

  • Short term
  • Long term
  • Respite
  • Emergency
  • Parent and Child 

When considering fostering, the type of care you choose to do will be a big factor. Our link workers will work with you during the application process to identify your skill-set and lifestyle choices to find out which specific type of foster care will be most suited to you. 

Fostering allowance 

Becoming a foster parent is a fantastic thing to do and makes a tangible difference to the children’s lives you touch. However, we recognise that fostering is a big commitment and it takes a lot of time, patience, and hard work. That’s why all of our carers are paid a generous fostering allowance. 

This is paid fortnightly directly into your bank account. The amount you receive is calculated based on the child/children you have under your care and the complexity of their needs. This money is used to pay for all of the expenses associated with childcare including food, clothes, transportation, etc. We also pay additional quarterly clothing allowance payments, birthday allowances, holiday allowance and festival/Christmas allowances on top of the normal fostering allowance. This is to make sure that our foster children benefit from all the usual enjoyable experiences children would have in a family. 

How to apply

From initial enquiry to approval, it can take between 3 to 5 months to become an approved foster carer. During this time you will complete a fostering assessment to ensure you are eligible for fostering and that you will be suited to the role. 

To apply, it is as simple as contacting a member of the team by phone, email or through our contact form and expressing an interest in becoming a foster carer. Our social workers and experienced staff members here at Family Fostering Partners are here to guide you through the entire process, answer your questions, and calm your worries. 

So, if you’re interested in finding out a little more about fostering and want to take the first step on your journey, please get in touch. Call 03300 948816, email info@familyfosteringpartners.co.uk, or fill out the form below. 

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