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Frequently Asked Questions

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Becoming a Foster Carer

Who can foster?

To foster with us, you must be over the age of 21 and have an available spare room. We welcome enquiries from all sections of the community. Your age, gender, race, sexual orientation, linguistic heritage, and religious background has absolutely no bearing on your application. You can't foster if you have committed certain offences such as crimes against children or violent crimes. If you are still wondering if you are eligible please don’t hesitate to contact us to discuss your personal circumstances.

What is fostering?

Fostering is a term used to describe looking after someone else’s child in your own home, as a registered foster carer.

Will I have to give up my job?

We usually expect that at least one person in the foster home is committed to fostering full-time, although there can be certain circumstances where this is negotiable. For example, if there are two carers, we may be able to work out a schedule where both could work part-time hours. If you're worried about how fostering may impact on your current employment, please contact us to chat to a member of the team.

What checks are carried out?

There are several checks which will be undertaken during an assessment of a carer and although these may seem intrusive they are essential. After all, we must ensure that all children are kept safe from harm whilst in our carre. They include an Enhanced Disclosure & Barring Service check (formerly CRB); a medical check; and a Local Authority check to see if you or your family have and any previous involvement with Social Services. School references will also be sought if you have children of school age living at home. We will seek employment references from your present or last employer, and if you have previously worked with children or vulnerable adults then we will require a reference from each employer. Also as part of the assessment process a basic financial check will be completed. If you have any concerns about the checks or want to find out more about the assessment, please get in touch.

Who is included in the assessment?

Your whole family will form part of the assessment. Your assessing social worker will talk to all members of your family, individually and as a group. Adult children living elsewhere will also be interviewed.

How will becoming a foster carer affect my own family?

It's important to remember that fostering involves the whole family. If your own children and wider family are positive about fostering then you can feel positive too, but without their support, understanding and engagement, it’s going to be a challenge. Your own children, wider family and community of support have an important part to play in the success of any fostering placement. So we offer them the support, we value their engagement and we give them the reassurance they need to ensure their experience of fostering is a positive and happy one. We provide support so that from time to time you as a family can be together and recharge your batteries, whether it be through an organised activity or by way of a short period of respite. Either way, we know that the well-being and happiness of you and your family is the cornerstone to a happy and successful fostering career.

How long will I have to wait until my first placement?

The length of time in between getting approved and having your first placement will vary. You can begin taking placements right away, but as with all placements we need to carefully match your skills with the right placement. We will also ensure you get the right support package during this first phase of your fostering with FCV and link you in with our mentoring scheme.

Can I choose what children I want to foster?

You can give us a preference, but you need to be aware that to be used more often you need to be willing to take on teenagers as well as younger children. Many of the children referred to Foster Care Values are over the age of 11, so if you are able to we do like you to be able to offer this wider age range.

Can I be a single foster carer?

Being a foster carer isn’t about whether you’re in a relationship or whether you’re single. It’s about having the potential to care for other people’s children and ensure that they are able to thrive and grow in your care. Foster Care Values welcome applications from people who are in a relationship and those who are single.

Can I foster if I'm LGBTQ+?

Absolutely! Foster Care Values only considers your application on your suitability to be a foster carer and does not discriminate on the grounds of sexuality or gender.

How much does fostering pay?

We're committed to supporting it’s carers in a number of ways and one of these is by providing a generous financial allowance. It is difficult to say in exact figures how much allowance will be payable as each contract with a local authority is different. However, we promise to pay a professional fee that is commensurate with the task we ask you to undertake.

Does it matter that I live in a small house or flat?

A child or young person in your care needs their own bedroom. We cannot consider the prospect of your own children leaving their bedroom to accommodate a foster child. Therefore, you need a free bedroom that gives a child circulation space and typically space for their bed, a cabinet, a chest of drawers, a wardrobe and a desk.

Can I foster if I have a criminal conviction?

In short, yes, but there are certain criminal offences of violence and crimes against children that automatically bar you from becoming a foster carer. With other offences, it does depend on the type of conviction, along with the context and circumstance of the offence. The most important thing to remember is that you must tell us of any convictions you think you may have. This is to ensure that no offences are excluded from the DBS check.

Do I need to be able to drive?

While it's not a specific requirement of being a carer, living in the North Wales area it would certainly be useful in carrying out the fostering role.

I'm a smoker. Will this affect my application?

We will not assess or approve any prospective foster carer applicant who smokes, including any member of their household, who wishes to care for children of the age of 5 years and younger. This age limit could be lifted if the child to be placed had a health issue such as a respiratory condition, for example asthma, that impacted on the child. Therefore, a child who is 5 years of age or younger or is older and has a relevant health issue will not be placed with an existing FCV foster carer who smokes, and this includes any other member of their household. This ruling also applies to mother and baby (parent and child) arrangements. Foster carers who quit smoking must have done so for 6 months prior to being approved for a child up to the age of 5 years. The agency reserves the right to consult a carer’s GP about their smoking habits.

Do I have to be a full-time foster carer?

No, some children will need a short respite break over the weekend or during the school holiday period. If you’re the sort of person who can offer this time, whilst maintaining another role or other caring commitments, please contact us.

Can I have pets if I'm fostering?

We strongly believe that children and pets are generally a great combination, but we do have to undertake an assessment to ensure that everybody in your house is safe. When assessing foster carers, FCV is committed to ensuring that any pets receive adequate attention and consideration. For example, it's important to gather evidence regarding the temperament and personality of any dogs in the household. It is the responsibility of the prospective carer to demonstrate that the temperament of a dog or, when applicable, another pet in their household, is compatible with the fostering task.

Can I foster if I'm renting?

Yes, you just need a stable tenancy and a written agreement from your landlord agreeing that you can foster.

Can I still claim benefits?

The welfare system lends itself to fostering, so we strongly recommend you check your entitlement - both in between placements and when you are looking after a child. Generally speaking, fostering payments are disregarded when calculating benefits.