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Fostering in Kingston

Foster Care in Kingston Open your heart for a life changing experience
through fostering
Foster Care in Kingston Open your heart for a life changing experience
through fostering

Become a foster carer in Kingston with Sunbeam Fostering Agency

Do you live in Kingston? And looking for a local fostering agency with whom you want to become a foster carer? Sunbeam Fostering Agency is one of the largest in the UK. We offer up to £650 per child per week with local staff at hand in Kingston.

We welcome foster carers from a diverse range of backgrounds and all ages.

Sunbeam Fostering Agency is one of the largest in the UK, we have offices in Langley & Coventry with resource centres in Northampton, Nottingham, Birmingham, Wembley, Walthamstow, Croydon, Portsmouth and a register sister agency in Luton.

Sunbeam fostering in Kingston(fostering agency) (2) (1) (1)

Fostering in Kingston

We provide local support in Kingston to foster carers

Sunbeam provides local support for carers in Kingston and surrounding areas through our registered office in Langley and resource centre in Wembley. Which means you will have a supervising social worker local to you and available to support you if you need them. Also, we have other support staff on a 24/7/365 basis who will help you with any help and support you need while fostering with Sunbeam.

fostering with sunbeam

Sunbeam is foster carers’ preferred partner

At Sunbeam, our first priority is the needs of our foster children and it is extremely important that we are able to provide them with the best match possible. As such, when children removed from their families and moved to foster families, they undergo a lot of trauma; therefore finding them a close matched family within their area will support them and have less impact on their lives as they will be able to stay in their local school, be able to see their friends etc.

This can only be achieved by recruiting foster carers in the local regions. Hence if you are someone who is looking to become a foster parent then complete our call back request and we will progress your application as soon as we can.

As one of the largest and most progressive independent fostering agencies based in Kingston, we provide quality family placements to children in our care and competitive foster care allowances to our carers.

Frequent Questions

About becoming a foster carer
1. Do I need to be married to become a foster parent?
No. You can be married, single, divorced or living together. The main thing that you need is to be able to provide a safe and supportive environment for your foster child.
2. I work, am I still able to become a foster parent?
Yes, you would be able to work part-time if you are a single foster parent to ensure that you are able to fulfil your commitments, you would need to make sure that your working arrangement is flexible so that you can tend to any emergencies that would arise with a foster child if needed. If you are a couple who have decided to become foster parents you would need to make sure that one of you is available at all times. This could be making sure that working hours don’t clash or maybe that one parent works while the other is home based to care for the foster child or children.
3. I am renting, am I still able to foster?
Yes, it does not matter if you are renting or own your home, this will not affect your application to become a foster carer. As long as you have a spare room in your home dedicated to accommodating foster children owner status is not a problem.
5. I have tenants/lodgers. Can I foster?
You can still consider a career in foster care. However, you will not be able to continue to have a tenant or lodger in the property. Foster carers receive the fostering allowance if they have a child or young person in placement. Please see ‘Fostering allowance’ for further information.
6. Will my race or religion be an issue?
No, diversity is very important as the foster children come from a variety of backgrounds. People of all races and faiths are needed to foster children.
7. Will I receive any training?
Yes, once you have been approved as a foster carer you will receive initial training and you will be given regular training sessions throughout the year. These will be a mix of new subjects and refresher courses. You will also be given the opportunity to gain an NVQ 2, 3 and 4
faqs fostering
8. How long does this take?
We do our best to process all applications as quickly as possible, usually in six months but more often between three to four months.
9. Do I need any qualifications?
There are no special qualifications needed to become a foster carer, as any parent will tell you, children do not come with a manual. What you do need is a positive attitude, patience and understanding along with time and plenty of energy to devote to your foster children. This is a job like no other and the most important qualifications you can hold are people skills and empathy. A love of children is, of course, essential and the ability not to take things personally.
10. I’m old! I want to foster, how do I apply?
Once you have decided to become a foster parent, the first step would be to contact your local authority or the fostering agency you will have an initial chat with the application manager who will run through the process and answer any questions and address any concerns that you may have. The next stage would be for an assessor to visit you at home and get to know a little bit about you and find out more about your reasons for wanting to foster, they will also assess the suitability of your home. You will be given the opportunity to ask any questions and to address anything that you are unsure about. After this visit with you still wanting to go ahead and become a foster parent, you will be asked to fill in the official paperwork and this is where the serious application process begins.
11. What can I expect once I have applied to become a foster parent?
Once you have submitted your application form and this has been accepted a Form F assessment will be completed on the fostering household. Paying particular attention to the skills, experience and knowledge of the applicants who want to become foster carers. Once this is completed, the Form F assessment is presented at the panel who will recommend the applicants’ suitability to foster to the Agency Decision Maker, who makes the final decision. Please see our guide to foster for more information.
12. If I am approved, what happens next?
Once you are approved, you will be added to the list of available foster carers that the placement team will use to match and place a child in your care. Once a suitable child is matched with yourself, you will be allocated a Supervising Social Worker who will undertake an induction to ensure you have a thorough understanding of the fostering task in preparation for your first placement.

Become a Foster Carer

Take a first step towards fostering, get in touch with our fostering team

    Who can foster?

    Your age should be at least 21 years-old (although by law you can apply to foster from 18) and to have a spare bedroom big enough for a young person to live in.

    Fostering Allowance

    As a foster carer, you will receive fostering allowance which normally covers things like food, clothing, transportation, pocket money, outings etc.

    What foster carers are saying

    Foster Carer
    Foster Carer

    This job is probably one of my favourites. Every day is different, every day has new challenges and every day has new rewards. It’s not always easy but each challenge you go through with the child bonds you and makes you both stronger for each other.

    Hannah and Kashif
    Hannah and Kashif

    We have been fostering for the last 8 years and feel proud to be a part of the Sunbeam family. At the beginning, we thought it’s a tough job, but the skills to foster initial training and the whole assessment procedure to become a carer was interesting, and it gave us both a broad insight into both the tough and rewarding side of what we were likely to encounter.

    Asma
    Asma

    “Fostering is a rewarding experience as it allows you to actually make a difference for a child/young person. I feel happy being able to make such a difference whether it is for one day or several years.”

    Karen Thorn
    Karen Thorn

    “When they told me that I had been approved for fostering, well I just cried. I was an emotional wreck and was so happy that I just couldn’t hold back my very, very, happy tears.”

    FAQ – FOSTERING

    We have answered a few common questions about fostering

    01. What is the difference between fostering with an Independent Fostering Agency (IFA) or with a Local Authority?
    Local Authorities are ultimately responsible for the wellbeing of all children in public care. They need to find the best way of looking after these children to make sure that they receive the best possible standard of care. IFAs such as Sunbeam provide a fostering service to Local Authorities and we work in partnership with them. We have our own foster carers, social workers, therapists and education staff who work hard to ensure that the needs of the carers and children are met to high standards and without delay.
    02. I'm not married – does this matter?
    Although some Local Authorities and IFAs will allow this, at Sunbeam we think that the high quality care, which we consider every one of our children and young people need, can only be achieved by having one carer at home full time. Our carers are part of a professional and dedicated team and we offer them a remuneration and respite package that reflects their commitment.
    03. Can I still go out to work and be a foster carer?
    Although some Local Authorities and IFAs will allow this, at Sunbeam we think that the high quality care, which we consider every one of our children and young people need, can only be achieved by having one carer at home full time. Our carers are part of a professional and dedicated team and we offer them a remuneration and respite package that reflects their commitment.
    04. Do I have to own my home?
    Most people can foster, but when we consider applications we look closely at the following areas: Your ability to work in partnership with the agency Your ability to work as part of a professional team Your family lifestyle Space in your home, including sleeping arrangements Your health and background Your parenting skills, attitude and personality, including any experience of caring for children Your ability to provide a caring and nurturing environment. Things that are less important to us are your income, age, marital status and employment status. Third party references.
    01. My partner doesn't live with me should I include them on the application form?
    Yes please, include any individuals who is a significant person in your life and will frequently visit the house.
    02. If I am going to be the main foster carer, do you need to carry out checks on my partner?
    We regard all couples living together as foster carers applicants in the fostering process so we would require that you both have the necessary checks and training and that both take part in the assessment process. Even if you are the main carer, anyone sharing your home will have some involvement in and influence on the fostering task.
    03. Do I have a choice in the type of child I care for?
    Children who require care must have foster carers who can meet their needs. Throughout the fostering assessment process, we work with you to identify your strengths and skills to assist you in identifying the children and young people you could care for. We will also identify specific training with Sunbeam to assist you in expanding your skills as a foster carer. Before you are approved by the Agency Decision Maker, we will have agreed on the type of child who will fit in with your family. This includes the age, gender, ethnicity and religion of potential foster children.
    01. How much is the Fostering Allowance?
    At the Sunbeam Fostering Agency we believe that our carers and foster children should have a good standard of living and a quality of life. Sunbeam offers up to £650 fostering allowance per child per week depending on children’s needs. Additionally, we pay other allowances and our foster carers receive many other benefits while fostering with us. This allowance is paid when children are in care and is not paid when carers do not have placements. Please ask for a copy of our Foster Carer Payment Guide which is updated and reviewed annually.
    02. What does the weekly allowance cover?
    The weekly allowance is intended to cover all the needs of each foster child, including food, clothing, travel, activities, savings and so on. We provide guidance on how money should be spent on each child, to ensure that the child has a healthy and balanced life.
    01. Will I be taxed on the allowance?
    In April 2003, the Government introduced an income tax exemption for foster carers with an income below a set level. Allowances for looking after foster children placed with the Sunbeam are not generally taxable. However, foster carers who have multiple placements and who also work may be liable to pay some tax if their income is above the set level. For the purposes of calculating tax, Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) treat foster carers as self-employed. HMRC produce helpful guidance for Foster Carers which you can request direct from HMRC (ask for guidance IR 236).
    02. Do I qualify to claim any benefits?
    Eligibility to benefits is assessed on an individual basis by the relevant central or local government department, and the Sunbeam Fostering Agency cannot offer advice specific to benefit eligibility. The government department responsible for benefit entitlement is called the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). Any queries about fostering allowances and benefit eligibility needs to be assessed by the DWP. Find information by calling 0800 882200 or visit www.dwp.gov.uk Jobcentre Plus delivers benefits to many people of working age, so contact your local office for advice. Housing Benefit, Council Tax benefits and tax credits are calculated and administered by your own Local Authority. Alternatively, seek specialist advice from an advisory agency such as the Citizen’s Advice Bureau (CAB) or a welfare rights service.
    03. Do I qualify for tax credits?
    Fostering counts as self-employment, so you may be entitled to Working Tax Credit (and also Child Tax Credit if you have children of your own). You need to get advice about Tax Credits, which takes into consideration your own individual circumstances. Eligibility and assessments for tax credits can be made by contacting 0845 300 3900.
    04. Will I have to pay National Insurance?
    All foster carers must register as self-employed, so must register to pay National Insurance contributions. You can obtain get information by calling the Newly Self-Employed Helpline on 0845 915 4515.