Types of fostering – what are they?
Vulnerable children and young people are in care for all kinds of reasons so there are several different types of fostering. These range from emergency, short term or short-notice care to planned placements, as well as more specialised types of foster care. For those of you thinking of fostering with us, we would welcome the opportunity to discuss what might suit you, your family and your skills and experience best so we can decide on what type of fostering you could provide.
Long term Foster Care
- Long-term Foster Care is for those children who cannot return to their birth family – are most likely to stay with their foster parent/s for several years until they become adults and can take care of themselves.
Emergency Foster Care
- Emergency Foster Care involves you taking temporary care of a child, usually for a few weeks or possibly months at a time until their longer-term plans are settled. Emergency Foster Care is not usually planned in advance and you may be asked to provide somewhere safe for a child, either for a few nights or weeks, at very short notice.
Respite and short breaks Foster Care
- Respite and short breaks Foster Care may give parents or other foster carers a short break from children who might have disabilities, special educational needs or behavioural issues.
Specialist therapeutic Foster Care
- Specialist therapeutic Foster Care is typically for experienced foster parents who have the skills necessary to look after children and young people with complex needs or challenging behaviour.
Whichever type of fostering is right for you and your family, rest assured you will always have our complete support, including exceptional training for new foster carers through to opportunities for you to continue to develop your fostering knowledge.
CARE AND SUPPORT FROM
AN EXPERIENCED TEAM
Whilst Foundation Fostering is small, we have a well-resourced and experienced team to ensure that support is available when needed. As well as a team of Supervising Social Workers we also have a dedicated Therapeutic Lead, Education and Wellbeing Officer and Family and Child Support Worker.
Whilst fostering is very rewarding it is also challenging. In addition to the conventional support that every agency should offer, your Supervising Social Worker will be there for you to support you through every step of your fostering journey. Small achievements and milestones will be recognised and celebrated. It is important that they build a relationship with everyone in your family, so you all feel part of the community and the voice of all is listened to and heard. We will be there for you 24/7 whenever you need us. As well as the more formal support, we believe that more informal contact takes place, so that you have opportunity to build relationships within the community. This is why we offer activities and family days throughout the year.
We truly believe that a ‘looked after carer means a looked after child’.
Support that you will expect to receive from Foundation Fostering includes:
- Supervision, guidance, and support from a qualified and experienced Social Worker who will ensure that they are available to you when you need them
- Access to experienced staff 24/7
- Regular telephone contact from the Foundation Fostering team
- Dedicated Education and Wellbeing Officer to support you with any matters relating to the education of the young person placed with you
- Access to our Therapeutic Lead for drop-in sessions, one-off pieces of work and other therapeutic support
- Access to therapeutic reflective sessions
- Regular quality training to ensure that you are equipped with the skills to meet the needs of the young people placed.
YOUR NEXT STEPS ON THE
Changing a child’s life through fostering is one of the most rewarding decisions you will ever make. Of course, there are a number of steps you will need to take on your journey to becoming an approved foster carer but, rest assured, we aim to make it as easy as possible by helping to guide you through every step of the way.
Our friendly fostering team will start with a quick chat to ask you a few of the most straight-forward questions such as whether you have a spare room or not. It is a great chance for you to find out more about fostering, without any obligation, and it helps us identify if you have the skills and qualities you’ll need to bring to the role. If all goes well, we can then arrange a home visit.
One of our Foundation Fostering team will come out to see you at your home to talk in more detail about why you would like to become a foster carer, what Foundation Fostering can offer you and check if your home is suitable for fostering.
Once we are all happy that fostering is right for your family and that Foundation Fostering is the right agency for you, we will ask you to attend a ‘Skills to Foster’ course to help prepare you for the challenges of fostering. Running over 3 days, it gives us the perfect opportunity for us to get to know each other better. You’ll learn more about what becoming a foster parent involves, the day-to-day skill that all foster carers need, and you can ask all of the questions that you have been thinking about. You’ll also be able to say “hello” to many of our Foundation Fostering community, so you can speak directly to those who are already fostering and get a valuable insight into life as a foster carer.
Once you have had your home visit, you’ll be invited to complete your fostering application form. This is the start of the more formal process of your fostering journey.
We’re almost there. Now you need to start your “Form F” assessment, which involves two stages (both of which can run concurrently). At this point, you will also need to give your consent for a number of statutory checks and references.
Once your “Form F” assessment is complete, it will be reviewed by our professional Fostering Panel, made up of individuals with a wide range of expertise and experience, who are all independent of the agency. You will be invited to attend. The panel’s role is to consider your assessment and make a recommendation regarding your approval as a foster carer. The entire journey from beginning to end can take between 4 – 6 months on average. Don’t worry, we will always be there to let you know what’s happening and make it as easy as possible for you.
TRANSFERRING TO FOUNDATION FOSTERING
Yes the thought can be daunting but if, for whatever reason, you have decided to transfer foster agencies, we will do our utmost to support you in making the process as quick and straight-forward as possible.
We are on a mission to reshape the independent foster agency landscape, providing an alternative where we genuinely do work in partnership and where carers and children are truly valued and supported.
If you do not yet have children placed with you, the transfer process can be relatively simple.
If you already have children placed, there are additional steps that must be taken which include notifying the child’s placing local authority.
Either way, we are on your side – ready and waiting to answer your questions and support you every step of the way.
GENEROUS CARER ALLOWANCES
Looking after a child involves more than just putting a roof over their head. Therefore, foster carers receive a generous pay allowance which is intended to cover various costs such as clothing, pocket money, travel etc. On top of this foster carers also receive a fee on top of the child allowances plus two weeks annual respite.
As foster carers are classed as self-employed, they benefit from specific tax exemptions. This scheme is called the Qualifying Care Relief.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS…
DO I NEED A SPARE ROOM?
Yes, to become a foster carer you will need a spare room so that any child that may come to live with you has their own space.
CAN I FOSTER IF I LIVE IN RENTED ACCOMMODATION?
Yes, you can. You will need to speak to your landlord to inform them about your plan and to get their permission.
CAN I STILL WORK IF I BECOME A FOSTER CARER?
Whilst it may be possible for you to continue to work full time or part time, it is expected that our carers are available to the children that they are caring for which would include attending meetings. We would therefore generally expect that one foster carer is at home on a full-time basis or that any work is flexible enough to ensure that there is always somebody available to meet the needs of a placed child. It is also an expectation that carers are available to attend any required training.
I AM SINGLE, CAN I STILL FOSTER?
Yes, we welcome applications from those that may be single. We ensure that careful consideration is given to all placements with thorough matching.
WHAT TRAINING WILL I RECEIVE?
At Foundation Fostering we will ensure that we support you to become the best that you can be and hold your hand throughout your fostering journey. This will include offering quality training in a range of subjects both before and after you become an approved foster carer.