What is Fostering
Fostering is a way of providing family life for someone else’s child in your own home when they are unable to live with their birth family. The Foster carer and their family provides a warm and caring attitude towards the looked after child by welcoming him or her to their house. This opens space for effective communication and trust which enables the child to settle in a new environment.
Fostering makes positive and lasting differences to the lives of children or young people. Carers contribute towards the social, educational, health and overall development of the child.
- Nationally there is estimated to be around 27,000 Foster Carers
- At any given time there are 60,000 children being “looked after” by foster families
- It is estimated that there is a shortage of around 10,000 foster carers
- In addition, the foster carer population is ’ageing’, with many approaching retirement.
Benefits of becoming a Foster Carer include:
– Making a difference to a child’s life
– Experiencing a sense of achievement from helping others
– Enjoying having children in your life
– Gaining satisfaction from helping a child learn and develop
– Having an opportunity to use your parenting or life skills
– Helping your own family learn to share and care for others
– Taking on a fresh challenge, whatever your age
Different types of fostering
Fostering can be short term or long term, and fostering can last for days, months or years. Many children return home to their birth families, but others may receive long term support, either through continued fostering, adoption, residential care, or by being helped to live independently.
Fostering with Fostering Innovations
Fostering Innovations is an Independent Fostering Agency that believes in working in partnership and introducing innovative and rewarding ideas to supports the carers to achieve the best outcomes for the looked after children. Fostering Innovations carers are part of a professional and dedicated team and we offer them comprehensive training, an impressive fostering allowance and dedicated 24 x 7 one-to-one support – from our staff, mentors and social workers. Fostering Innovations, ensure our foster carers offer children and young people the security and stability they need to build themselves a stronger, happier, more secure future.
What makes us different from others
- Team of young, experienced and motivated professionals
- Fast approach to achieve solution to problems
- Believe in partnership and team working ethos
- Believe in growth, learning and development of others
- Focused on child learning and development
Why do children need foster care?
There are many factors that may lead to children being fostered. Children may come into care due to illness, relationship problems, family breakdown, or perhaps a situation where the child’s welfare is threatened.
What you need before you can foster
- You’ll need a spare bedroom, to provide privacy to the looked after child
- You’ll need to be able to commit to the time and support the children and young people need to reach their potential
- You must be over 21 years of age to foster
- Do not have a criminal conviction against children or of a sexual nature.
Who can apply to be a foster carer?
Anyone can apply to become a foster carer. Fostering Innovations welcome foster carers who are single, married, co-habiting, divorced, gay, lesbian and heterosexual. Fostering Innovations welcome carers from different religions and a variety of ethnic groups.
Can I still go out to work and be a foster carer?
We believe that the highest quality care, which we consider every one of our children and young people need, can only be achieved by having one carer at home full time. However, in some circumstances where there is a single carer, you may be able to continue to work, depending upon your specific situation. We will make every effort to be flexible to your circumstances whilst ensuring that the delivery of the highest quality foster care remains our primary target.
Can I choose which age group or sex I would prefer to foster?
Yes, you can. However, you need to bear in mind that the majority of children referred for Fostering are in the 11+ age group. If you are relying on income from fostering, you are far more likely to have continuous placements if you are willing to take teenagers as well as younger children. Children and young people taken into care can be anything from 0-18 years old.
How much fee/allowance will I receive and how is this decided?
Your weekly fostering allowance intended to cover living costs such as food, clothes, basic travel and household bills. There is also a reward element for the foster carer in recognition of the demands of the fostering task. Fostering allowance / income has no impact on your benefits.
Foster carers work on a ‘self employed’ basis. Foster carers receive very favourable tax treatment on income derived solely from fostering. In 2003 HMRC set up a tax scheme for foster carers to simplify the calculation of their taxable income by comparing a ‘Qualifying Amount’ to their total fostering income