To foster a child, it can be exciting yet challenging. It can have its ups and downs and it can change your life, but most importantly, it changes a child’s life. As Fostering is a huge decision to make, it is something that should be discussed with your partner, family and friends. It can have an impact on everyone involved, so it is important that everyone is in agreement to be apart of your fostering career and is happy to support you however they can.
“Our decision of going into fostering in 2010 was one of the best decisions we have made in our life”. Words from our Approved Oxford Carers.
Some people consider fostering for many years before initially enquring, some people simply see our adverts and contact us for more information. Either way, it is important that before any enquiry, you do a bit of your own research first and think if fostering is right for you. Our website is full of information in regards to allowances, placement types and what Sunbeam can offer, which can all help you with your decision. However, if you do need more information or prefer to have a chat with our team, we have members of staff who can answer any of your questions and help you along the way.
When you contact Sunbeam, you will speak to our recruitment team who will be able to answer any of your questions and to give you further information about fostering. We will ask you some basic questions to see if you meet our criteria and if you are eligible to become a foster carer. Please understand that these questions are important and the more information you give us, will help us proceed with your enquiry. Our main criteria includes; a spare bedroom, flexible age range and time & commitment. If you meet our criteria and we don’t have any initial concerns, our next step would be to book an initial home visit with you.
At the initial telephone conversation, we often get asked the same questions or have applicants think they cant proceed due to one reason or another. Here are a few examples to clear up any confusion and to help you further with your enquiry.
“I’m not married, can I foster?”- You do not have to be married or in a relationship to become a foster carer. We have many approved carers who are single and have changed the lives of many children.
“I would love to foster, but I’m too old”- There is no upper age limit to become a foster carer. All we ask is that you are fit and healthy enough to look after a child. We will carry out a medical check from your GP who will recommend whether you are able to foster.
“I don’t have children of my own, can I foster?”- You don’t need to have your own children to be able to foster. However, it is important that you can demonstrate some childcare experience that you can utilise within fostering. Whether it be paid or voluntary work or looking after younger family members, this will highlight your experience, skills and knowledge of caring for children.
“I would love to foster, but I can’t afford to”- Sunbeam offers a competitive allowance of up to £650 per child per week. This can vary depending on the age of the child, the placement type or if that child has any specific needs. We understand that you will need financial support as it is an extra mouth to feed, activities at the weekend and any additional support that child or yourself needs. However, we don’t want to you have to rely on the fostering allowance and would want to ensure you are financially stable to foster. By being flexible with the age range and not have any restrictions, our placements team will be able to regularly match you with children.
The first step is to make your enquiry and gather as much information as you can. Ask as many questions as you like as we want to make sure fostering is right for you.
If you are interested in fostering and can make a difference to a child, make the first step and contact our recruitment team. We look forward to hearing from you!