Q: Who can be a Carer?
Most importantly, we ask that you have the space in your home and the support of family to create the right caring environment for a vulnerable child/ young person, and that you genuinely care about the welfare of children and young people.
Q: Do I have to be married, or have had children of my own?
We do not make judgements on your marital status, or whether or not you already have children.
Q: Do I need previous experience of fostering?
No, you do not. Certainly, any previous experience of caring, particularly for children/ young people, would be an advantage, however, having the right personal skills to care for a disadvantaged child/ young person is just as important.
Q: Can you help me develop the right skills for foster caring?
We provide ongoing, relevant training for our Carers, based on their individual training profile. This can include courses in dealing with challenging behaviour or sexual abuse, for example.We think it is essential that all our Carers, whether or not they have previous experience, are prepared to spend time developing their skills and experience. We also expect our Carers to help the child/ young person in their care to thrive and develop.
Q: Do I get ‘paid’ for the work I do?
All our Carers are professionals who do a valuable and often difficult job. We expect them to be rewarded for this, especially, as it may be difficult to take paid work elsewhere, since on some occasions Local Authorities/ Trusts ask them to be available for the children/ young people in their care on full-time basis. As well as providing a reward for the work the Carers do, the remuneration also includes Allowances designed to cover the costs of having a child/ young person placed with you. All Carers are regarded as self employed and must seek their own tax and financial advice. www.inlandrevenue.org.uk
Q: What kind of children and young people will I be caring for?
We carefully match the needs of the child or young person referred with the resources and skills of the Carer and their family situation. You may be able to take a sibling group (several children/ young people from one family), a young parent and baby, or you may only have room for one child or young person. Many of our placements will be for children/ young people with challenging behaviour, but they will only be placed with Carers who have the resources to deal with their special needs. We will work with you to identify your strengths and limitations and place children and young people accordingly. Ultimately, you have the choice whether or not to accept or decline the placement of a particular child/ young person.
Q: Who can I turn to for advice?
All our Carers are allocated a Supervising Social Worker who will support them throughout the fostering process. All these workers are suitably qualified and have considerable fostering experience. This support service is available to Foster Carers twenty four hours a day, seven days a week. Kindercare Fostering also facilitates Foster Carers support groups where valuable advice can often be found from other Foster Carers.
Q: What if a placement doesn’t work out?
We try to match children/ young people with the skills, experience and personal circumstances of each individual Carer to ensure a lasting and rewarding relationship for all involved. However, if things don’t work out as expected, we will work with the Carer and the Local Authority/ Trusts to make alternative arrangements.
Q: How can I keep up to date on fostering issues?
Our Carers automatically receive free membership of the Fostering Network, which entitles them to free subscription to their quarterly publications, invitations to fostering events and training, and information on local fostering issues.