DO I NEED A SPARE ROOM TO FOSTER?
Yes, you will need to have a spare bedroom to foster. All children and young people need some space to call their own.
I’VE NEVER HAD ANY CHILDREN, CAN I STILL APPLY TO FOSTER?
Yes, you do not necessarily need parenting experience, although it does help if you have worked with children or have experience of caring for children.
IS THERE AN AGE LIMIT TO APPLY TO BECOME A FOSTER CARER?
You will need to be 21 years of age or over to apply.
CAN I FOSTER IF I WORK?
Yes, however we will need to make sure that your work commitments are flexible and you can meet the needs of the child. We would also need to know that you are financially secure.
I AM SINGLE, CAN I STILL APPLY TO FOSTER?
If you are able to offer a stable home life, and demonstrate a network of support.
WE ARE NOT MARRIED, CAN WE STILL APPLY TO FOSTER?
Yes, you do not need to be married to foster but you will need to be in an established relationship, and demonstrate that you are both committed to the role of foster carers.
IF I AM GAY OR LESBIAN CAN I STILL APPLY TO FOSTER?
Yes, we don’t make decisions based on sexual orientation and have children who are cared from by gay and lesbian foster carers.
WE HAVE RECENTLY STARTED LIVING TOGETHER, CAN WE STILL APPLY TO FOSTER?
You will need to have lived together for at least 12 months before applying to foster.
I DON’T OWN MY OWN HOUSE, CAN I STILL APPLY TO FOSTER?
Yes, it does not matter if you rent or own your own home, as long as you can provide a stable home.
I HAVE A BABY, CAN I STILL APPLY TO FOSTER?
Your baby would need to be at least 12 months old before we would consider this.
HOW WILL FOSTERING AFFECT MY CHILDREN?
You should talk to your children about the impact fostering may have on them. Our fostering social workers will work with you and your children during the assessment to help you understand how fostering may impact on your family.
I HAVE PETS, CAN I STILL APPLY TO FOSTER?
Having a pet does not prevent you from fostering, however any pet would be part of your assessment, and may require that a veterinary report is completed.
However there are certain types of dogs that could prevent you from fostering such as Pit Bull Terriers, Japanese Tosa, Dogo Argentino or Fila Brazilero.
DO I NEED SPECIFIC QUALIFICATIONS/EXPERIENCE OR SKILLS?
No you don’t need specific qualifications, however it does help to have some experience of working or caring for children. During the assessment and preparation process you will receive training to help you and your family develop the skills needed to foster.
WILL I RECEIVE TRAINING
Yes, all of our foster carers must complete ‘skills to fostering’ training prior to becoming a carer and continue to attend the mandatory training we offer to support the role.
DO I HAVE TO SPEAK ENGLISH TO A HIGH STANDARD TO BE A FOSTER CARER?
You will need to have a good level of spoken and written English to be able to communicate with other professionals, support children’s education and make notes and keep records.
WILL I NEED TO HAVE ACCESS TO A COMPUTER?
It is desirable for carers to have access to a computer.
I DON’T DRIVE CAN I STILL APPLY TO FOSTER?
It would not prevent you from fostering if you do not drive, but it can be difficult as you will need to attend meetings around the Dudley Borough and transport children to school, activities and contact sessions.
If you do not have access to a car you would need to demonstrate you can meet these needs in some other way.
DO FOSTER CARERS RECEIVE TAX CREDITS
Fostering counts as self-employment, so you may be entitled to Working Tax Credit (and also Child Tax Credit if you have children of your own).
You will need to get advice about tax credits, which takes into consideration your own individual circumstances. You can find out more on the HMRC website
DO CARERS PAY NATIONAL INSURANCE
All foster carers must register as self-employed, and register to pay National Insurance contributions. You can get information on this by visiting the HMRC website
I HAVE A CRIMINAL RECORD, CAN I STILL APPLY TO FOSTER?
There are some criminal offences that would prevent you from becoming a foster carer e.g. offences against a child or violent or sexual crimes.
Other offences are looked at and circumstances will be considered. All applicants and family members will undergo statutory checks. Minor offences should not count against you in your application to foster.
All criminal convictions will need to be disclosed when you first apply to foster as the application process to become a foster carer includes an enhanced criminal record check.
I DON’T LIVE IN THE DUDLEY BOROUGH, CAN I STILL APPLY TO FOSTER?
Yes, as long as it’s within a 20 mile radius of Dudley borough.
IF I SMOKE CAN I STILL APPLY TO FOSTER?
We recognise the importance of foster carers as role models for our children and require all carers to provide a smoke free environment.
We want our children to be as healthy as possible, so we follow recognised guidelines where we don’t place children five or under or those with physical conditions such as breathing problems or heart disease in homes where anyone smokes. We offer guidance to applicants who wish to stop smoking.
I’VE GOT A DISABILITY, CAN I STILL APPLY TO FOSTER?
Yes, each applicant will be considered on an individual basis, and will need to show that they can meet the needs of children. Applicants will also be required to have a full medical, as part of the assessment process where any health issues will be taken into account. The important thing is whether you are physically and psychologically fit enough to cope with the demands of caring for a child.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO BE APPROVED?
We will aim to complete your assessment within six months from receiving your formal application form. Find out more about the fostering journey.
If you would like to find out more about fostering we would love to hear from you
I'M A FOSTER CARER
© Copyright 2017 - Graphics Studio, Dudley Council • www.dudleygraphicsstudio.org.uk