Questions and answers about fostering

Who can foster?

You can be single, married or in a relationship.  You will need to be fit for the task of fostering, so we ask for a medical to be completed, do the Local Authority Checks and application is made for membership of PVG Scheme which replaced Disclosure Scotland check recently and is a criminal convictions check.

What accommodation do you need to foster?

You need to have a spare bedroom for fostering and if you are taking more than one child, you need a room for each of them.

You can be living in housing association accommodation, privately owned or rented with your landlord’s agreement.

Fostering should not affect or exceed the household capacity.  There needs to be adequate room for your family plus fostering.

What if I have a health problem?

It is helpful if you tell us from the outset if you have a health issue.  All applicants are required to have a medical and the medical report is sent to our Medical Advisor.  Once she receives the medical, and she feels there is an issue she will discuss this with the GP or Consultant involved.  We have policies in place for some conditions but essentially, fostering can’t impact on your health to make a condition worse; so there is an expectation of good general health.

What if I smoke?

Currently we don’t have a “No Smoking” policy but we don’t expect carers to smoke in the house or in the car. A child under the age of 5 cannot be placed with foster carers who smoke. Children need to be protected from secondary smoke inhalation.  Carers will be encouraged to give up smoking.

What if I am overweight?

This can be viewed as an impediment to becoming a foster care if there are additional health conditions or concerns because of you being overweight. It is expected that you will be able to do the task of fostering.  If the Medical Advisor felt it was an issue on receipt of the medical, she would discuss with the GP and the assessing Social worker who will raise it with you.  It would become an issue if it was around lack of a healthy diet or lifestyle issues.

What if I have a police record?

Any crimes of violence or of a sexual nature are not generally acceptable.  If the incident happened in your youth and there has been no repetition then it might be considered.  All offences should be declared at the outset of the application and discussed with the Family Placement Social Worker.

What support do carers receive?

Once carers are approved, they have an allocated family placement social worker.  This is often the same person who completes the assessment.  They maintain close contact with you to monitor your progress and deal with any issues.  There are local support groups in each of the areas and they meet regularly to discuss topics and generally support each other.

You are invited to attend training events often to keep developing your skills as a carer.

Carers are reviewed every year and this is chaired by an Independent Chair who will record your views and gives you the opportunity to discuss your experience as a carer.

Do foster carers get paid?

We pay our foster carers a Foster Carers Allowance of £273.19pw for a child 0 – 10 and £327.82pw for 11 +.  The allowance is essentially for the child’s care, although a small proportion is for the carer.  The breakdown of the allowance is given in the Carer’s Handbook. You can find out more here.

Am I committing myself if I enquire?

No.  You have every opportunity along the way to say this is not for you, even after you have completed the Application Form.