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What is fostering?

Fostering is giving a child and caring, safe and stable home when their parents are unable to look after them. As with any life-changing decision, there are many questions about the process and what you need to become a foster carer. We’ll be giving you the answers to some of the most important questions, and telling you what you need to help you become a foster carer with FCA.

  • Why do people become Foster Carers?

    There are many reasons a child or young person may need to be put into care. With over 77,000 children in care across the UK, they may be going through problems at home because of a family illness or breakdown or be in a situation where their welfare is threatened. In many cases, these children will have experienced neglect as well as physical, emotional or sexual abuse.

    By becoming a foster carer, you can experience the life-changing rewards you get when it comes to looking after a child who needs it.  Foster carers do not have to be a certain type of person. At FCA, we have carers who have their own children and feel they could become role models to children in care to people who don’t have any children of their own and will be able to provide the care a child may need.

    Our approved foster carers provide a safe places and the support that these children and young people need to thrive, whatever situation they come from.

  • Fostering Allowances

    Fostering is a fantastic career and our carers deserve to be rewarded for their hard work. That’s why we offer generous and competitive fostering allowances and payments.

    Our allowances take into account the demands of foster care and the significance of the role you play in a child or young person’s life. They’re designed to help you cover the cost of looking after the child in your care.

    We don’t just reward you financially though. At FCA, we offer unrivalled levels of support and training to all our foster carers. It’s just one of the reasons why we’re the foster carer’s carer.

    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 Carer Requirements

    Our 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
  • The Fostering Process

    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. This is how the process works:

    1. Enquire

    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.

    1. 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.

    1. 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.

    1. 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.

    1. 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.

    1. 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?

To register your interest in fostering with us, please fill in the enquiry form below and one of our fostering advisors will get back to you within the next 24 hours.
  • The information that you provide will not be used in any way other than to contact you to discuss your enquiry. By submitting your details you are agreeing to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement.

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