Who can foster?
Anyone can apply to be a foster carer. However you do need to be 21 years or older and in good physical and emotional health. You should have a positive approach to looking after vulnerable children and young people and have a spare room available.
Ideally foster carers should have some life experiences to draw upon, however empathy and understanding are key characteristics that we look for.
Foster carers can be single, married, living with a partner, divorced, widowed. They may be working or unemployed, own or rent a home, have birth or step children or not.
It is important to stress that we have a very open mind about people’s status, sexuality, gender, culture and faith. The important thing for us is the individual and the experience and skills that they bring to fostering
Am I too old to foster?
There is no upper age limit and again we have an open mind. The key question is your physical and emotional health plus your ability to care for vulnerable young people.
Do I need experience of fostering?
No you do not. Some of our foster carers have experience of working with children and young people, such as in the classroom, community or health setting. Certainly any such experience could be an advantage. However, having the right personal skills to care for a vulnerable child is just as important.
What if I don’t live in a house?
It doesn’t matter whether you live in a house or a flat, so long as you have the facilities that you need to look after a young person. It is important that the young person has their own bedroom.
What if I have a criminal record?
Having a criminal record does not necessarily exclude someone from becoming a foster carer. If you have a past or current offence it is important that you discuss this with us.
What if I have experienced physical or mental health problems in the past?
You would not be unique so don’t rule yourself out! If you have experienced a significant illness in the past it is always wise to talk it through with us. With your agreement we can always seek further professional advice where necessary.
What if I keep pets?
Family pets can be a real asset. They can be a good ice breaker when a child is getting used to their new surroundings. For the traumatized child it can sometimes feel safer talking to an animal than trusting human beings. That said we have to be sure that the pet poses no physical risk to the incoming child. Your local vet can be a good source of advice.
Do I have a choice in the child I care for?
Throughout the assessment and preparation process we work with you to identify your strengths and skills to assist you in identifying the children and young people that you could care for. We will also provide any specific training to help you develop your skills as a foster carer.
Before your fostering application is presented to our Fostering Panel we will have agreed on the age range, gender and type of fostering that best fits your household whether you have no young children or if they are older and more independent. However, fostering is a lot different to bringing up a child of your own and different skills are required. Our comprehensive training and support will help prepare you for this task.
Can I still foster and work?
It can be difficult to work and meet the needs of a troubled child or young person. It is really important that you are around to transport, walk with or meet from school. There will also be times when they are not well or need to attend specialist appointments. There will also be important meetings concerning the child’s progress and future to attend. Often training and support groups will take place during school hours and you will need some time to call your own.
What if I am disabled?
Again we need to stress that it is the person, the skills and experience that they can offer that matters most to us.
What if I am already an approved foster carer for another agency?
If for any reason you are dissatisfied with your current agency we suggest that you try and resolve matters by talking with your Fostering Manager. You can also seek independent advice from organizations like Fostering Network. This organization produces a national protocol for approved foster carers that wish to apply to another agency.
FP2is not in the business of poaching foster carers from other agencies. Where individuals do approach us we work within the guidelines of the Fostering Network protocol. Any initial enquiry is dealt with in the strictest confidence
In this section
We contacted FP2 in early 2012 to enquire about becoming Foster Carers. Since that first phone call we have been very impressed with their level of professionalism and efficiency. We were led step by step through the evaluation and approval process up to going to panel. if we had any difficult questions they were answered with dignity and a non-judgemental attitude. Since being approved we have continued to find FP2 a pleasure to work with.Della
Working with FP2 has been great, all the way through our application to approval to placement..ourKara
supporting social working has been amazing and so has everyone else in the team. They are on-hand 24/7 for any questions, problems or emergencies and
always go beyond our expectations and as a result we feel confident and supported in our role as foster carers.
“Since being approved in June 2012 we have received high quality, professional and extensive support available on 24 hour basis from FP2. We were allocated a Supervising Social Worker at the beginning, who remained with us throughout the application and approval process which has been great for building working relationships. FP2 offer an excellent and progressive training programme so we can become the best foster carers we can be and our monthly supervision sessions have identified individual training courses that lead to recognised qualifications. We have found the support groups extremely helpful as they enable us all to share our experiences and learn from each other, we love being part of the ever growing family that is FP2’Jan
Being a Foster Carer for Fostering People Too. There are highs and lows, it is testing, frustrating, challenging but above all rewarding, when you watch a child placed in your care, blossom into the children that they deserve to be. Working for the Agency with their generous never ending support, all of the above are celebrated or we are encouraged to push on and face the never ending challenges that come our way, especially when the going gets tough. Tomorrow is always another day. The on going support groups and training sessions are invaluable and help us to understand the children placed in our care and where they have come from. The friendships that are formed with other Carers, bonded together by one goal, The Children.Denise
Fostering People Too are so supportive of both carers and children they place that it is like we are all part of one big family 🙂 They go the extra mile and nothing is too much trouble, whatever time of day or night. It’s wonderful to have a SSW who anticipates what I and my family need before I do!Barbara