Now is the time
Maybe you’re waiting for the right time to foster. Or until you have all the facts. Whatever it is you’re waiting for, there are children out there waiting for a safe place to call home.
Foster Care Associates is the UK’s largest foster care provider. When you foster with us, you get all the training and 24/7 support you need.
So there’s really no need to wait any longer. Now really is the time. Find out what to do next, right here…
Fostering is a fantastic career and we reward the hard work of our carers with a generous and competitive financial package.
You’ll receive a weekly fostering allowance for each child you foster. The rate varies depending on the needs of the child you foster and where you are in the country, but as a rough guide you’ll receive:
- £360 per week for standard placements
- £420 per week for complex placements
- £600 per week for specialist placements
As a foster carer you’re classed as self-employed, so you’ll qualify for tax relief, meaning you’ll pay little or no tax and national insurance. You’ll also be able to receive any of the benefits you’re entitled to.
We’ll talk you through the financial side of fostering when you start the process of becoming a foster carer. We also give all our foster carers access to free independent financial advice whenever they need it.
Foster carers come from all walks of life. Apart from a few basic criteria, there aren’t any hard and fast rules about who can foster. It’s about having the right qualities, such as patience, understanding and a good sense of humour. And as long as you are able to provide a stable home to a child or young person in need, then you could make a brilliant foster carer.
Here are a few of the essentials:
- You have to be over 21 – but there is no upper age limit for foster carers
- You need a spare bedroom, but you don’t have to own your own house
- You have to be a British Citizen or with permanent leave to remain in the UK
- Generally you need to be able to foster full time
But despite the myths, here are some of the things that won’t stop you from fostering:
- You can be retired and still foster
- It doesn’t matter if you’re unemployed – you’ll receive an allowance to help you with the costs of bringing up a child
- There aren’t any qualifications for fostering and you don’t have to be experienced in child care – we’ll give you all the training you need
- It doesn’t matter if you’re not already a parent
- You don’t have to be married or in a couple – single men can foster too!
- You can become a foster carer regardless of your gender, sexual orientation or disability
Choosing FCA means you’ll have access to one of the best foster carer support packages out there. Around 90% of local authorities across the UK choose to place with us, so you’ll be in good hands.
As well as a generous financial allowance, we give all our carers:
- 24/7 support
- An expert fostering team in your area
- Comprehensive training both before you start fostering and afterwards
- Local support groups
- Access to a free advice service for help with finances, health issues and more
- Regular social events and activities
- Paid respite breaks
We are the largest independent fostering agency in the UK, and we’ve been fostering children and supporting their carers for over 20 years. And still today, our original founders – themselves a foster carer and a social worker – remain at the helm.
It takes around 4-6 months to fully qualify as a foster carer, and throughout the process we’ll make sure you have all the information, training and support that you need. Here’s how the process works:
Register your interest in fostering with us by filling in our contact form or calling us – we’ll talk to you about fostering and answer any questions you may have.
- Home visit
A fostering advisor will visit your home to give you more information, answer your questions and explain how we work. Hopefully, we’ll then be able to send you an application form.
- Fostering assessment
Once you’ve filled in your application form, our social workers start your assessment. They’ll visit your home 8-10 times to collect information about you, your family and any skills and experience you have that will help you with fostering. This information will be put together in a report called a Form F.
- Preparation training
A four day preparation course that will give you a full understanding of a foster carer’s role and get you thinking about how you would react to some of the situations you may find yourself in.
- Fostering panel
Once your assessment is complete, we’ll present your information to a fostering panel. The panel will then make a recommendation to a Foster Care Associates manager, who will make the final decision about whether or not you can be approved as a foster carer.
- Fostering with us
Once you have been approved, your fostering career with us will begin! We’ll actively promote your skills to the local authority and match a child to both your experience and any preferences you have. We’ll be there for you every step of the way throughout your fostering career.
Interested in Fostering?