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Becoming a Foster Carer

Becoming a foster carer is an incredibly rewarding experience. 

Match Foster Care is an independent fostering agency that will support you throughout your fostering journey. We offer a comprehensive range of 24 hour round the clock support for foster families. This includes providing access to our own in-house support workers, education workers, a therapeutic practitioner and a registered nurse.

Having recently received an ‘Outstanding’ Ofsted Rating, we are always in search of foster parents who can help us maintain our high standards of care for foster children.

Here is an overview of what to expect when starting the process of fostering to guide you.

Types of Fostering
Types of Fostering

How to become a foster carer

Anyone wanting to start their fostering journey needs to undergo a full fostering assessment,  Applicants will be assessed on various criteria to determine whether they are suitable to become foster parents, along with the type of fostering they would be most suited to. There are various steps involved in the overall process such as background checks and home visits. This is to ensure that potential foster parents are a suitable fit to fulfil the needs of young people. 

Every person has their own reasons as to why fostering a child matters to them. You will be given an opportunity to talk about the motivation behind your desires to foster while sharing the personal experiences or qualities that you could bring to the table. 

Potential foster parents must undergo background checks prior to being approved. This is to ensure that there are no outstanding factors based on your history or circumstances that may make you unsuitable for fostering. 

Every foster parent in the UK must have a Fostering Assessment. This is a detailed report covering all aspects of your life and personal circumstances. The information you give will be used to assess if you could be a suitable foster parent. 

During the fostering assessment process, a Match Foster Care social worker will meet with you at your home. This gives us a chance to have a look around your home and meet any pets, to determine if the environment would be suitable for a young person to live in as a foster home. There is also ample opportunity for you to ask questions about the process on a one-to-one basis. 

Once the fostering assessment is complete, your application will be considered by a fostering panel at Match Foster Care offices. You along with your attending social worker also get to attend the panel to ask questions. The recommendations will then be passed onto the agency decision maker as to whether or not you will be approved to become a foster carer. 

Approved foster carers are fully supported as they undergo training to best equip them for their new role. At Match Foster Care, we have training venues at both the Droitwich and Stoke offices and if required at other locations across the West Midlands and Staffordshire, meaning you will not have to travel far. In addition, we also offer extensive e-learning opportunities to prepare you for foster care placements. 

With all of the assessment, training and development stages now complete, you will be ready to foster your first child. Match Foster Care will offer continued support throughout each placement, enabling you to feel confident in fulfilling the needs of the young people in your care. 

Discover the most suitable foster care style

Anyone wanting to start their fostering journey needs to undergo a full fostering assessment,  Applicants will be assessed on various criteria to determine whether they are suitable to become foster parents, along with the type of fostering they would be most suited to. There are various steps involved in the overall process such as background checks and home visits. This is to ensure that potential foster parents are a suitable fit to fulfil the needs of young people. 

Short term fostering gives children a safe place to reside on a temporary basis. This could be until they are able to return to their birth family, or until a long term solution to their care needs can be arranged. While children only remain in short term fostering for a limited time, the experience can still have an incredibly positive impact as their needs will be prioritised by their foster families. 

Long term foster care involves caring for a young person until they reach adulthood. In instances where other options such as adoption are not feasible, long term fostering provides a sense of stability for young people who are unable to live with their birth family. All of which is designed to support young people as they transition into independent adults. 

Respite foster care provides a much-needed breather for families who look after children with complex needs. While all types of fostering are rewarding, the benefits of respite fostering can be felt within the wider care network. That’s because respite fostering allows parents and carers to be able to recharge their batteries so that they themselves can provide the best level of care.

When a child requires foster care it can already be an emotionally challenging time, not least if they also face the prospect of being separated from any siblings. Where possible, keeping siblings together by fostering siblings can create a sense of stability for children while providing an extra layer of support. 

Disability fostering involves caring for children with physical or mental impairments. This can range from developmental disabilities, conditions which limit the mobility of the child or sensory impairments. As well as ensuring that the health and wellbeing needs of disabled children are met, fostering can also provide new skills and experiences. 

Fostering for sanctuary seeking children involves caring for young asylum seekers also known as unaccompanied children. Fostering provides an alternative to being placed in a residential unit or supported accommodation. In turn, this can create a sense of stability and security for children as they adjust to their new life in the UK. 

Match Foster Care FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

Foster carers must be at least 18 years old, have the legal right to live in the UK and be capable of looking after a child. To become a foster carer, you must be able to pass background checks which consider your suitability to foster based on your history and overall circumstances. You don’t have to own your own home but you must have a spare room to accommodate a foster child. 

As a foster parent, you will receive fostering payments known as fostering allowances. 

Use this handy finance calculator to receive a tailored estimate of your fostering allowances based on the type of foster care you are looking to provide.

Yes. With the exception of babies who may be able to share a foster parent’s bedroom, foster children require their own room to provide them with space and privacy.

Yes. Being employed is not a barrier to becoming a foster parent. However, you must still be able to prioritise the needs of the children you foster by creating a safe and nurturing environment.

In some cases, foster carers decide to step back from external employment to be able to focus on their fostering role. As details of your employment will be discussed within the fostering assessment process, we can also provide you with tailored advice unique to your situation.

It can take between 4-6 months to become a foster parent owing to the length of time it takes to complete the assessment process. Applicants also undergo background checks and interviews which take time to arrange and process to ensure due diligence. 

Foster carers do not require any formal qualifications to undertake their role. However, foster parents will need to possess a broad range of skills that enable them to provide the best level of care for children.

For instance, being able to empathise with children, demonstrating patience in challenging situations and also the ability to work well under pressure. Overall, foster carers must be able to prioritise the broad needs of children under their care.

In the absence of a parent or guardian, foster carers are responsible for all of the care needs of the child. Establishing a home from home for young people, foster carers provide food and shelter while also ensuring any health, wellbeing or safeguarding needs are met. Tasks may also include liaising with schools and health professionals as well as advocating for the child on their behalf.  

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