Frequently Asked Questions
There are lots of myths surrounding the do’s and don’ts of fostering. Our FAQ’s will help address the most common questions asked.
If you can’t find your question or need more information please call us on 0800 038 7799 and we’ll be more than happy to help.
Why do children/young people need to be fostered?
There are a lot of different reasons why a child can’t live with their birth family. And many of these reasons only apply for a short time. Some children may need foster care for a few weeks during a time of crisis or bereavement. Some may need to be fostered for two or three years while Social Workers resolve more serious problems within the family. While others won’t return home at all, maintaining contact with their families but living in foster care until they are able to live on their own.
Who are the children and young people who need to be fostered?
They come from many social, ethnic and religious backgrounds. Some younger children do need to be placed. But the majority of the young people we care for are teenagers. They may have experienced a variety of problems in their life. And understandably many will be upset about being away from their families. But this doesn’t mean that all children in foster care are ‘problem children’. Given sufficient time to settle, most are no more ‘difficult’ than any other child.
Wherever possible Lorimer prefer planned placements. These include introductory visits prior to any child coming to stay in your home. At NO point are foster carers required to take any individual referral, and each foster carer always has the final say on whether they feel able to care for each child referred to them.
Can I choose how long a young person will stay with me?
During the assessment process, we’ll talk about the different types of placements young people need and agree what suits your skills the best. However, if you state that you’d prefer emergency or short-term placements, this will be difficult for us to judge as we won’t know at the beginning of a placement exactly when a child will move on.
Can I choose the gender and age of the children to foster?
Yes you can. And during your assessment, we’ll agree a particular age range based on your skills, experiences and preferences. Although please bear in mind that the broader the age range you will consider the higher the chance of a placement.
Do I have to be a homeowner?
The simple answer is ‘no’. However, whether you rent or own a home, it must be of a clean standard, your payments should be up-to-date and you’ll need to be settled and not likely to leave at short notice. Most importantly of all, the child must be able to have a room of their own.
Do I need any specific qualifications?
No, your qualities and life experiences are more important than any qualifications. However if you do want to gain qualifications when you become a foster carer, we’ll support your studies for an NVQ. It is also a legal requirement that ALL newly approved foster carers study for, and complete, something called a CWDC Portfolio within 12 months of approval. Your Assessing Social Worker can explain this in more detail to you.
Can I be a foster carer if I’ve a criminal record?
If you’ve ever been convicted of crimes against children then the answer is no. But if you were convicted for a minor offence a long time ago, it may not affect your application. So, don’t rule yourself out. Just talk to our team and make sure you mention any convictions at the outset. Failure to mention anything relevant at the appropriate time may impact on your application.
Can I still go out to work and be a foster carer?
Any child placed with you must be your first and overriding concern, in the same way that it would be for your own birth child. If your job meant you couldn’t do this, we couldn’t place a child with you. However, some of our foster carers do care for children and still work on a flexible or part-time basis.
Will fostering affect my own children?
Fostering changes everyone’s lives, including your own children. So, it’s important to talk to them and involve them at every stage of the process so they know what to expect.
What is the Two Stage Assessment Process?
The process for assessing a person’s ability to foster consists of two parts. These can be carried out concurrently, but the information for Stage 1 must be sought as soon as possible, and the decision about whether an applicant has successfully completed Stage 1 must be made within 10 working days of all the information required in that stage being received.
How much will I get paid?
As a professional foster carer for Lorimer Fostering you can expect to receive anything from £20,000 to £57,000 per year (dependent on the number of placements you have). This figure is a combination of two components: an allowance for the costs incurred in looking after a foster child, and a professional fee.
In addition to this all carers will be entitled to a minimum of 2 weeks paid ‘holiday’ in the form of respite placements, and additional payments towards birthday presents and Christmas for all young people placed with you.
What do I need to do next?