Become a Foster Carer
Fostering with Sunbeam
We’re here to make becoming a foster carer as easy as possible and will provide you with all the advice and guidance you need to help you start your fostering journey.
We know that to achieve a healthy society our focus needs to be on children who need to be supported to build, achieve and succeed. This is a shared focus and we are here to support our foster carers in achieving this.
We will start with your fostering enquiry by allocating you a qualified staff member to assess your situation and if fostering is the right choice for you. He/she will conduct a home visit as soon as possible and proceed with your application to the next stage. The whole assessment process will take around 12 weeks depending on your individual circumstances and completion of statury checks. We will be in regular contact with you to offer updates about your assessment process. You will be offered preparatory skills to foster training (2-3 days) during the course of your assessment and this will provide you with the opportunity to meet other applicants and discuss and learn more about fostering in a group setting.
If you have any questions about fostering, simply click here and get in touch.
Who can become a Foster Carer?
We need foster carers from a wide range of backgrounds, races and religion. This is because all children have their own unique and individual background and heritage. You do not need to be married, own a house or have children of your own.
We aim to ensure that each child’s needs are met and matched as closely as possible, we use the following selection criteria:
Applicants able to accept teenagers
Applicants comfortable with parents visiting their home.
An ability to reflect on life experiences and to mature through them.
Previous employment or experience in children’s services – paid or unpaid.
If living with a partner/ spouse, the relationship should be established and secure.
Applicants who show a willingness to work towards meeting care standards for fostering.
An ability to see beyond children’s behaviour, and to link it to past trauma, where applicable
An empathy for and natural ability to nurture children traumatised by separation from their birth families.
Applicants with particular skills and experience in specific areas as learning difficulties, medical problems etc.
Applicants with experience of the previous fostering and/or close involvement with someone who has already fostered.
The training you will receive will include:
Core Sexual Health
Child Sexual Exploitation
Promoting Positive Behaviour
Attachment, Loss and Separation
Understanding Difference and Diversity
Self-Harming and Sexualised Behaviour
Drugs and Alcohol Issues & Gang Culture
Educational Needs of Children and Young People
Working with children and Young People who have been abused
Safer Caring Including Preventing Allegations against the carers and adopters
Working with children and Young People with Mental Health Issues, Special Needs including ADHD & Autism
Excellent care standard and support across the group. Our latest Ofsted report for London + South rated ‘Good’. Midlands rated ‘Good’ and Sunbeam Pride is ‘Good’ with no recommendation and improvement. We offered 1,000s placements and over 500 new placements made in the last 3 years. All our foster carers have 24-hour access to staff and support which is not just a promise but delivered 365 days per year. We offer a career path into social work and further national qualifications of fostering. Currently, we offer over 100 different trainings to our foster carers. Extensive information will be provided on fostering to help your approval process. Our strong focus on quality and better outcomes for children. Full support will be provided to you including a comprehensive induction to fostering once approved. Sunbeam Pride is sister registered agency in Luton and has the full support from the parent company, Sunbeam Fostering Agency, who have a proven track record. We have strong Local Authority relationships and secure many contracts to secure placements for you.
Steps To Become A Foster Carer
The process of becoming a foster carer is summarised below. Click each step for information to be displayed below. You will receive full support at all stages and help with anything you are unsure of.
01. Make an enquiry
02. Initial home visit
03. Application form
04. Fostering assessment
05. Preparation training
Download – Guide to Fostering a child
A GUIDE TO FOSTER CARE & BECOMING A CARER
Appy To Become a Foster Carer
01. Do I need to be married to become a foster parent?
02. I work, am I still able to become a foster parent?
03. I am renting, am I still able to foster?
04. I have tenants/lodgers. Can I foster?
05. Will my race or religion be an issue?
06. Do I need any qualifications?
07. I’m old! I want to foster, how do I apply?
08. What can I expect once I have applied to become a foster parent?
09. How long does this take?
10. If I am approved, what happens next?
11. Will I receive any training?
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.
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.
Hannah and Kashif
“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.”
“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.”
I have grown both professionally and personally at Sunbeam.am very grateful for that, as fostering is my passion, and my job allows me to use my skills whilst doing what I love.
All the staff at sunbeam are friendly and helpful , I truly feel like we are all a family and its nice when we all get together when celebrating foster carers and children’s achievements as it shows off everyone’s hard work.
It’s a great place to work. All the managers are super helpful and are always looking after their team. I have grown a lot at this agency.
Working for Sunbeam has been very fulfilling for me. As I get to work for the community and get a chance to make a difference as child welfare is at the core value of this agency.
I have been in placement with my foster carers for 11 years. Sunbeam placed me with foster carers who have always treated me like a family member. Sunbeam has also been very supportive throughout all these years
Fostering changes life, I have experienced this first-hand. My foster carers have been very supportive of me and my siblings. They keep us motivated to do good in our studies and always stay involve.
Sunbeam organises many fun and informative days out for us regularly. We recently went to the University of Cambridge and attended their seminar on ‘Realise’ program for care leavers. I am really thankful to Sunbeam for organising this trip.
Children and carers receive practical and therapeutic support from the agency and enjoy regular social occasions to relax, enjoy and celebrate alongside staff and managers.
“All children make good progress within this agency, in all areas of their lives. They benefit from committed and dedicated foster carers who are effectively trained, and supported to meet the individual needs of children”.
Staff and foster carers alike referred to the agency as being like a ‘family’ when describing their experiences. The registered manager consults well with carers and staff, incorporating their views when monitoring the quality of care provided to children. The registered manager has good audit systems in place and maintains good oversight of practice.
“The agency delivers a consistently good quality of care to foster carers and children. Management and staff support carers and children in ways that exceed what they might expect. Foster carers spoke about the flexibility, motivation and wide ranging support they receive from the agency”.
We love to work with children and are really happy with the support that we are getting from Sunbeam. Our social worker is wonderful, we couldn’t have done it without her.
We are very happy with the support that we are getting from Sunbeam Fostering. We are provided with many interesting trainings and support group throughout the year which help us immensely.