We are particularly keen to hear from people who are able to care for children within at least one of our priority groups. We urgently need to find homes for:
- sibling groups (brothers and sisters)
- children over the age of 10 years and teenagers
- children with disabilities; complex health and/or emotional needs
- children needing permanent or long term placements
Who can foster?
Our foster carers come from a wide range of ages, cultures and backgrounds. You must be over the age of 21 and have a spare bedroom in your home. Becoming a foster carer normally takes between four and six months. We will take you through the process to make sure it’s right for you and the child.
Fostering is a hugely rewarding, but there are lots of myths surrounding the role which can stop people from making and inquiry.
- For most of our fostering options you can continue with your current employment and working is not a barrier.
- You are never too old to foster and we welcome the experience
- Even if you have your own children we want to hear from you
- You can be retired, in rented accommodation or unemployed
- There are no 'typical foster carers' but you will need time, patience and commitment.
- support children and young people to thrive and reach their potential
- offer a safe, secure and loving home
- attend training and develop your skills
- work with and alongside other professionals
- demonstrate experience through previous employment, voluntary work or personal experience.
- demonstrate you are a full time residents in the UK or have leave to remain
Six steps to becoming a foster carer
Please see the video and the steps explained below it.
If you are interested in fostering then don’t delay and get in touch with us. Our team will answer any questions that you may have and will keep you up to date throughout the process. We’ll send you a pack containing information about fostering with us.
You might also like to come to one of our information sessions.
When you are ready, we’ll arrange a time convenient to you when we can come and visit you and your family at home. This is a great opportunity to find out more about which type of fostering will be best for you and to ask any questions you might have.
At the home visit, we will discuss if now is the right time for you to go ahead. If so, we will invite you to apply to be a foster carer.
Our locally based training course runs for four days over a period of a couple of weeks.
You will get the chance to meet other potential foster carers, hear first hand from some of our looked after children and gain the skills you need to become a foster carer.
Existing carers transferring to us can attend a shorter version of this training
An assessment is completed for all potential new foster carers. This includes us undertaking a number of background checks and gathering references. It is a very thorough and in-depth process, but your allocated fostering social worker will visit you regularly and support you through your application.
For carers transferring in from other agencies, we have a fast track process for this stage.
- Your application will be presented to our local fostering panel.
- You will be asked to attend, along with your social worker, to answer any questions the panel may have.
- A decision will then be made by panel regarding your suitability to foster and the age group and number of children you are approved to care for.
Once this decision has been verified by our Agency Decision Maker you will join our team of foster carers and will be ready to begin making a difference to the lives of our looked after children and young people.
Fostering has changed our lives and we have never looked back we recommend it to everyone.