Frequently Asked Questions

There will undoubtedly be many questions that arise. If there is anything that is not answered in the information supplied please do not hesitate to contact us.

Is there an age limit for fostering?

There is no upper age limit for fostering, but you need to be fit enough to care for the children. Younger people need to be mature enough to cope with the responsibility.

Can foster children share a bedroom with other children?

Foster children must have their own bedrooms. The only time foster children are allowed to share a room is if they are same-sex siblings and if the carer is approved for this and has the space.

What age will the children be?

The children can be any age from 0-18. It is better if you can take as wider an age range as possible as we are more likely to be able to place a child with you.

Will my spouse/partner also need to be assessed?

Yes, if you are living together you will both need to be assessed and you will both need to attend the Skills to Foster training.

I am a single person and I am interested in becoming a carer for Caldecott Fostering Services can I still apply?

Caldecott Fostering Services will consider all applications for fostering but whether you can proceed to full assessment will be dependent on your circumstances. The reason for this is that the types of young people placed with us can need a high level of supervision in the early part of the placement and this may present difficulties for a single carer, but this does depend on each individuals experience and knowledge of looking after young people. Within the programme we are looking not only for main stream carers but also respite carers to support the main stream carers with their placements.

Do I have to own my own home to foster?

No, but you must not have rent arrears. You need a stable home for a foster child with no risk of eviction. References will be taken up with the landlord if rented, or if living in a mortgaged property, with the bank.

Am I able to foster if I am working?

If you are a couple then one of you must be prepared to give full time to the programme. If you are a single person then you must be prepared to give up your current job or be highly flexible so as to give your full time to the programme in the event the young person does not attend school for whatever reason.

How much will I get paid for looking after a child?

The current rates of foster care allowances will be discussed with you at the home visit.

When do I start getting paid?

Once the fostering training is successfully completed and a young person is placed with you payments will commence.

Will I get paid if I have no placements?

No. We cannot guarantee placements.

Will I have to pay extra tax if I receive money for fostering?

Foster carers in the UK do not pay tax on their income from fostering, up to a maximum of £10,000 plus allowances.

Whom can I use as a referee?

Ideally a professional person, who has known you for at least two years, such as a teacher, Police officer or other person of good standing within the community. All referees are expected to have known you personally and cannot be family members. Two of the referees must have known you for at least three years.

I have a conviction.  Will that prevent me from becoming a Caldecott Fostering Services carer?

This will depend on the circumstances of the offence and subsequent history. Whilst any offences may not prevent a formal assessment from being undertake the decision to approve you as a foster carer will rest with the Fostering Panel.

Does the assessment include a medical?

As an agency we will be seeking permission to contact your GP for a medical reference as being a carer for Caldecott Fostering Services may well be demanding and we have to ensure that our carers have a good general level of health and availability to the young person they are looking after.

What training will I be given?

Providing that your application has been accepted, you will be given initial training based on the “Skills to Foster” programme used by all Fostering Agencies. This training will take place over several days/weeks and the venue for the training will be within easy travelling distance of Caldecott or other centre if it is more convenient for the carers. Ongoing training will also be given during your career as a foster carer.

How much further training will I have to do?

After you are approved, foster carers are required to complete 21 hours of training and personal development per year. This is a national requirement. New carers are also requested to undertake the Children’s Workforce Development Council induction standards in their first year as foster carers. Caldecott Fostering Services arranges various training courses throughout the year at its offices.

What happens if a placement isn’t working out?

The team will be in daily contact with Caldecott Fostering Services carers and any difficulties that the carers are experiencing would have been immediately identified. There is an expectation that Caldecott Fostering Services carers will report any difficulties as soon as is realistic so that the young person’s plan can be adjusted to address the changes in behaviour accordingly. However if placement continues to present difficulties then the plan for the young person would be further reviewed and refined.

What is a Fostering Panel?

The Fostering Panel is usually made up of professionals from within the social care arena and others. Information discussed at the Committee is highly confidential and any one wishing to foster for Caldecott Fostering Services needs to be approved by this committee. The Fostering Panel will consider all aspects of the application and will be party to any information discussed with the Supervising Social Worker working for Caldecott Fostering Services.

What is the difference between independent agencies and social services fostering?

In both cases, you will foster children, either directly employed by the local authority, or employed by an agency. If you foster for Caldecott Fostering Services, we will give you a great deal of support with frequent visits from your supervising social worker, high-quality training and 24 hour telephone support from our duty social worker.