Guidelines for fostering
If you think you can foster, it is most likely that you can, but please take note of the following key points. Any point that relates to you will be discussed more fully as part of your initial assessment.
Jobs and unemployment
You can still foster a child if you are unemployed. Children benefit from having someone to care for them full-time. As a foster carer, you will also receive fostering allowances and other payments that will cover the cost of caring for a child.
If you have a job someone must be at home and available for the children when needed. This includes before and after school, and during holidays. Foster carers must also be available to attend fostering meetings and training.
You need to be able to write and speak English to a level that allows you to communicate with professionals, support children’s education and keep records. If you have any communication needs, we can discuss these with you.
It is unlikely we will begin the fostering process if you are moving house, as your home is an important part of your assessment.
Only criminal convictions that relate to an offence against children or a sexual offence will prevent people from being able to foster. A criminal Disclosure and a Barring Service Check will be performed. Let us know about all criminal convictions when you apply.
We do not place children under five, or vulnerable children with respiratory, heart or other medical conditions in homes with a smoker. You must be smoke-free for at least a year before we consider an application to foster children under five. We also expect foster carers to abide by our guidelines and minimise a child’s exposure to tobacco smoke.
If you want to foster a child over two, you must have a spare bedroom. Foster children cannot share a room with you, your children or other foster children. If you don’t have a spare room, you can consider fostering a baby. Children under two can sleep in a cot in their foster carer’s room.