Who can foster?
If you are over 21 and a UK resident you can apply to foster. You don’t need to own your own home but you do need to have at least one spare bedroom.
We welcome enquiries from single people, married people, the LGBTQ community and we are committed to equal opportunities so if you feel you have the time and essential skills to start your fostering journey we would love to hear from you.
What happens when we first make contact?
A member of our team will speak to you on the phone and gather information about you and your circumstances. We will make sure there is time to ask any questions and provide you with any further information you feel you need. If both parties decide it’s appropriate to complete a home visit we will do this at a mutually convenient time.
How long does it take to become a foster parent?
The assessment process takes around 4 – 6 months and during this time you will be provided with a dedicated assessing Social Worker, preparation training sessions that will help with guiding and informing you and allow the agency time to complete the appropriate checks and references needed to safeguard children.
Can I work and foster?
The main foster parent needs to be available for the child or children they are caring for. There are lots of meetings involved in fostering including your own supervision, meetings for the children and support group attendance. You will be really busy however in exceptional circumstances some foster parents can work around the fostering task and we would discuss this on a 1-2-1 basis.
Will training be ongoing to support me as a Foster Parent?
Yes absolutely, here at Changing Futures Fostering we see training as essential and an ongoing process. Learning is key to our foster parents being the best they can and often learning needs to be repeated to keep it up to date and relevant. With this in mind we have a thorough pre-approval training programme that will help you through the early part of your journey and a comprehensive training plan that includes mandatory training and additional training to meet yours and the children you care for, needs.
What types of fostering are there?
There are lots of different types of fostering needed but the main ones are Short Term, Long Term & Short Break Care.
Short term placements can last anything for 1 night to a couple of years or more and give professionals working with children and their families a chance to complete assessments and make longer term plans for them.
Long term placements are for children and young people who need a home with a foster family for the rest of their childhood. Some short term placements can become long term placements in the same foster family but other foster parents are assessed and matched to children as a long term family from the onset.
Short break placements provide a break for the full time foster parent and can be from 1 night up to a couple of weeks. Different families have different needs so being flexible really works.
Will I receive money as a Foster Parent?
Yes you will receive an allowance and support will be provided as you will be self-employed to understand tax etc. The allowance is paid per child and is based on their age and needs. Please ask us about the allowances available.
How does Covid-19 affect the work of the agency?
Covid-19 has put extra pressure on many families, and this in turn has meant more children need foster parents.
Top of our list of priorities is helping to keep people safe under covid.
We are making better use of technology to reduce risks. We are offering video calls and phone calls if people prefer this. When meeting people, we are using venues that have lots of room so people can keep two metres apart.
Our work is fully risk assessed and we follow the most up to date government and industry guidance.
If you have particular worries about Covid-19, mention this to a member of the team who will be able to explain what we do and how we do it to keep us all safe and still help people to become fantastic foster parents for children.