There will undoubtedly be many questions that arise for you as you consider a Fostering Career. If there is anything that is not answered in the information supplied on this website please do not hesitate to contact us. Here are some common questions...
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 Foster Carer, can I still apply?
We 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 and also your local support network.
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.
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 fixed tax exemption of £10,000, additional tax exemptions can be claimed at a rate of £200 per week (for under 11's) or £250 per week (for over 11's).
Who 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 Foster Carer?
This will depend on the circumstances of the offence and subsequent history. Whilst any offences may not prevent a formal assessment from being undertaken 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 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 Foster Carer Preparation training. This training will take place over several days and the venue for the training will be within easy travelling distance of the Caldecott office 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 TSD standards in their first year as foster carers. Caldecott Fostering arranges various training courses throughout the year at its offices in Whitstable and Ashford in Kent.
What happens if a placement isn’t working out?
Our team will be is normally in daily contact with Foster Carers and any difficulties that the carers are experiencing will be promptly identified. We do expect our carers to 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 will 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 related fields. Information discussed at the panel is highly confidential and any one wishing to foster with us will need to attend a panel meeting before they are approved. The Fostering Panel will consider all aspects of an application and any information in it can be discussed with the assessing Social Worker.
What is the difference between Caldecott Fostering and Local Authority Fostering?
In both cases, you will foster children, either directly with the local authority, or working with our agency. If you foster for Caldecott Fostering, we will typically offer you higher rates of pay, higher levels of support with more frequent visits from your supervising social worker, high-quality training and 24 hour telephone support from our duty social worker.