Fostering a child is one of the most rewarding things you can do. It’s a fantastic opportunity to give a child or young person the fresh, positive start they need. When you become a foster parent with us, you’re supported every step of the way. You’ll always have the help, training and encouragement you need to change a child or young person’s life.
Why foster a child?
There is nothing more gratifying than knowing you are playing a pivotal role in shaping a child’s future. Not only can fostering transform your life, but you’ll be making a difference that lasts a lifetime to a vulnerable child or young person.
Although not always easy, fostering is a life-changing experience; you’ll be helping look after a child or young person who may have experienced neglect or abuse, they may have been in family situations where their welfare is threatened or they have faced loss and separation. You’ll be there to offer a safe and secure environment and be a positive role model to help them reach their full potential.
Why choose foster care associates to foster a child?
A Foster care specialist with over 25 years’ experience and a strong UK-wide presence, here at FCA we offer the best support available to enable you to be the best foster parent you can be. By starting your fostering journey with us, you’re joining our family, and we’ll look after you as one of our own.
Not only will you have access to first class training and development helping you every step of the way, but you’ll also have access to our generous fostering allowances and our online rewards platform offering discounts across hundreds of different retailers.
We have an excellent foster-parent-to-social worker ratio which is one of the reasons why we’re able to give you, your family and your foster child the highest quality of care. But you don’t just benefit from help from childcare experts. We also hold regular local support groups for foster parents to talk to each other, share their experiences, and give advice and moral support. Not only that, but you’ll be able to access a fun-filled calendar of community events where you can meet staff and other foster parents.
- 24/7 local support.
- Excellent ongoing training and development
- Regular support groups
- Extended support network
- A generous fostering allowance
- Access to a rewards platform
“If things get too challenging, we have excellent support from our social worker. She always takes the time to listen and talk through any issues that arise.” - FCA Foster Parent.
“I’ve been an FCA representative for four years now. The love and support among foster parents has been inspirational.” – FCA Foster Parent.
How to foster a child in the UK
You don’t need any qualifications. To be a great foster parent, you just need to be able to give a vulnerable child or young person a safe and loving home to grow up in. Just as the children we place are all different, so are our foster parents. We work with thousands of amazing foster parents from all walks of life, regardless of their relationship status, religion, ethnicity, sexuality, age, gender, income or number of birth children. To become a foster parent you do need the following:
- You need a spare room
- You need to be over 21
- Have the legal right to work in the UK
If you match the above criteria, enquire online to make the first step in your fostering journey.
With an initial chat over the phone first to get to know you and your circumstances, your application may then process to a home visit, followed by a fostering assessment, preparation training and then the final step, being invited to attend an independent fostering panel to review your assessment and confirm whether you have been successful.
Find out more about how to become a foster parent.
Meet FCA Foster Parent Jackie
“It’s one of the best things I’ve ever done. The positive of it is that many of the children I have looked after if I see them in the street will run to me and give me a hug. I think that’s the biggest compliment for me is that they remember me. I don’t think I could have asked for anything more.”
The role of the foster parent is to create a safe, warm and nurturing home where a child can thrive. Often due to the child’s difficult background, fostering requires patience and understanding where you build feelings of trust and confidence. There are some other key responsibilities including:
Helping a child form healthy and secure attachments: Supporting the child in building positive relationships is crucial for their emotional well-being.
Supporting their education: Taking an active role in their learning and development, including assisting with homework and engaging in their educational journey.
Teaching necessary life skills: Empowering the child with essential skills for daily life, such as cooking, budgeting, and personal care.
Collaborating with other professionals: Working alongside healthcare providers, therapists, and educators to ensure the child receives comprehensive support for their health and well-being.
Providing enriching experiences: Offering the child opportunities for enjoyable outings, vacations, and creating lasting memories.
Managing sometimes challenging behaviours: Understanding that some children may exhibit difficult behaviours due to their experiences, and working patiently to help them overcome challenges.
Facilitating contact with the child's birth family: If appropriate, supporting and enabling contact between the child and their biological family.
Attending appointments and meetings: Participating in relevant appointments and meetings related to the child's care, while also maintaining records of their behaviour and monitoring their progress.
Benefits and responsibilities of fostering
Did you know that around 30,000 children enter foster care each year? Offering a loving home to just one child presents an incredible opportunity to give them the fresh start they deserve.
Fostering a child comes with a multitude of benefits, including:
Making a real difference in the lives of children: By opening your heart and home, you have the chance to positively impact a child's life in immeasurable ways.
A positive bonding experience: Fostering allows you to create meaningful connections with a child, fostering a sense of love, security, and belonging.
Ongoing training and development: As a foster parent, you have access to continuous learning opportunities to enhance your skills and knowledge in caring for the children in your care.
Financial rewards: Fostering may bring financial benefits, including generous tax relief, to support you in providing a nurturing environment for the child.