What is a foster carer or a foster parent?
Foster carers are people or a person who officially take a child into their family for a certain period of time, without becoming the child’s legal parents. Foster carers are also known as foster parents.
Foster care is a way of providing a stable family life for children and young people who are unable to live with their parents or other relatives.
Foster Care is different from adoption, an adoption ends a child’s legal relationship with their natural family, whereas looked after children (the children in foster care) remains the legal responsibility of the local authority and/or their birth parents.
Why should one consider fostering?
Around 53,420 children (Source: Fostering Network, March 2017) are placed with foster families in England. This is nearly 78% of the 68,000 children in care on any one day.
Providing a foster care placement in your home, allows a child or young person the chance to thrive in a safe, secure, and caring home environment. Fostering is challenging but also rewarding at the same time. It takes time, patience and commitment to foster.
Becoming a foster carer is a big decision; it will impact on your life, others around you and the child or young person in your care. You will, however, have the opportunity to change a child or young person’s life.
Foster carer's allowance and other benefits
Sunbeam offers up to £650 fostering allowance per child per week depending on children’s needs. However, the amount of Fostering allowance paid depends on the type of foster care, the age of the child or young person and fostering placement type.
Fostering pay rates are not regulated by the government so each private agency or independent Fostering Agencies or local authority can decide how much they pay their carers.
Fostering allowance varies according to the type of fostering you do, and it’s depending on children’s needs. The older the child or young person the higher the fostering professional fee and pay.
How to become a foster carer
The path to becoming a Foster Carer requires a commitment to the assessment process and our current foster carers would be happy to share their experiences of the assessment process.
Step 1: Make an Enquiry
Step 2: Initial Home Visit
Step 3: Application form
Step 4: Fostering Assessment
Step 5: Preparation training
Step 6: Panel
Step 7: Approved
If you have any questions about fostering, simply click here and get in touch.
How long does it take to become a foster carer?
There are a number of things involved in the process. For example, local authority check, police check, and medical checks etc. Normally this can take from 3-6 months depending on how quickly we receive these checks and other related actions to become a foster parent.
You will receive full support at all stages and help with anything you are unsure of.
Every agency is different, so choosing the right one means making sure you can look after your choice of foster children, get the best foster carer’s support and the financial benefits that are right for you.
Are you passionate about making a difference for children and have time and energy to give to a child?
A Guide To Foster Care & Becoming A Carer
About becoming a foster carer