People considering fostering have many questions which they need answers to before they take the first step of contacting us. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions:
I have had lots of problems in my personal life - can I still foster?
Yes. Your tough times will give you a much better understanding of the problems faced by young people.
Will I be asked lots of personal questions by social workers?
Yes, but all the questions will be linked to your skills and abilities as a parent and carer. A social worker will get to know you, and, over time, you will form a trusting relationship with them. All information you give will be confidential.
Will I receive any financial help?
All our foster carers receive a regular allowance for each child they care for - up to £400 per week, per child. In the case of children with more complex needs you may receive an additional allowance.
Benefit advice for foster carers
Can I foster if I smoke?
Foster a Future follows the BAAF guidelines and therefore we do not place children under 5 with people who smoke. Any new applicants who currently smoke are encouraged to quit smoking in line with healthy life styles.
I’m a little bit overweight - can I still foster?
Yes. The medical assessment which all foster carers undergo shows if this will cause any problems.
Do I have to be married with children of my own?
No, we value each individual’s commitment, enthusiasm and energy over their personal circumstances.
I am gay - can I still foster?
Yes, we consider applications from gay and lesbian individuals or couples. The application process is exactly the same.
Do I have to own my own home? Do I need to live in a house with a garden?
The answer to both questions is no. You can live in a privately rented or council rented property. The property can be either a house or a flat although small children do like to run around in a garden. All we expect is that the fostered child has their own bedroom.
I work full-time - can I still foster?
Yes, but the hours you work may help determine what kind of fostering you are able to do.
I have a criminal conviction - will I still be able to foster?
We need to know of all previous criminal convictions. There are some convictions of a serious nature that would make it impossible for us to place children with you.
Will children I foster stay in contact with their 'birth' families?
Most fostered children will stay in contact with their 'birth' families. This could be through visits or in writing. Your social worker will talk to you about this. We have a legal duty to promote positive contact with 'birth' families.
The best thing to do is complete our on-line application form and we can take it from there.
If you have any other questions please contact us.
If you would like an informal chat about fostering, phone 0191 277 2430 or complete our fostering enquiry form
Return to the main Foster a Future page
Page last updated: 26 June, 2012