Frequently Asked Questions

Why do children need to be fostered?

There are many different reasons why a young person may not be able to live with their birth family. Some young people may need support from foster carers for a couple of weeks whilst enduring a time of bereavement or crisis. Other young people may need fostering for longer periods of time, from a couple of months to a couple of years whilst more serious issues are resolved within their family. Some won’t return home at all, but will remain in contact with their families where possible, remaining in foster care until they are of an age where they can live on their own.

Do I get to choose how long a young person stays with me?

Whilst going through the assessment process, you can speak with your assessing Social Worker about the different types of placement that young people need, and together you will agree what suits your skills best. You can choose to only take emergency and short-term placements, but sometimes it can be difficult to judge as we won’t always know how long a placement will be needed for and how soon a young person will move on.

Do I need to own my own home to be a foster carer?

Owning your own home is not essential, however, there are some basic requirements regarding where you live. Whether you rent or own your own home it must be of a clean standard, your rent or mortgage payments should be up-to-date and you must be settled ensuring you are not likely to leave at short notice. The most important thing is that a child living with you must be able to have a room of their own.

Can I still work and be a foster carer?

When you foster the young person living with you must be your main priority, in the same way that it would be for your own birth child. If your job meant that you couldn’t dedicate the time needed to a young person, then a child would not be able to be placed with you. However, with that being said, there are many foster carers who do care for young people whilst still maintaining work on a part-time or flexible basis.

How much do foster carers get paid?

As a professional foster carer you can expect to receive anywhere between £20,000 to £60,000 per year, depending on how many placements you have living with you. Within this figure is a combination of two separate components: an allowance to cover the costs of looking after the young person(s) living with you, and a professional fee.