- Do I have the skills needed to foster?
- Can I cope emotionally?
- Is my home suitable?
- Can I cope with a child whose behaviour is challenging?
- Will I be able to let a child go at the end of the placement?
- Can I meet the child or young person’s diverse needs?
- What effect will fostering have on my own family?
- Will I be able to work successfully with Leicestershire?
- What is the difference between fostering and adoption?
Very few carers start out with all the skills required for the job. Our training programme will help equip you with what you need when you need it. You don’t need any formal qualifications and there is no upper age limit.
You may be married, single, with or without children, living together, separated, divorced or widowed.
However, what you must have is the drive and enthusiasm to make sure children excel, and endless energy!
You’ll learn to cope with most situations as you go along. There will be upsetting times – perhaps when the child eventually moves on – but you’ll get plenty of support.
There will also be many times when fostering is great fun and personally rewarding.
The important ingredient in fostering is you – not the size of your home or whether you own or rent it. The child will need a safe and welcoming environment with space they can call their own.
Some children’s behaviour is confusing and difficult to manage and our network of professionals will work alongside you to achieve positive change.
You will be amazed at what you can manage. Your training will prepare you for most things.
And remember, you’ll never be on your own – there are many ways in which Leicestershire and our network of fellow carers can help. You will be able to discuss any worries you may have.
Short-term foster care means ‘letting go’ is part of the plan, whether children have been with you for days, weeks, months or years.
Part of this means children may return home to parents, move on to adopters or join long-term foster carers.
We want carers who are sensitive to the broad range of needs of the children and young people we care for regardless of race, religion, sexuality, disability and cultural background.
Every attempt is made to match the cultural, language and religious background of the child with a suitable carer.
Fostering will effect everyone involved – inside and outside the home.
Talking about fostering to the whole family means you find out how they feel about sharing time, sharing space and perhaps toys as well!
Having a strong support network will help, so parents, brother, sisters and family friends could baby-sit and include everyone in outings and parties.
Good fostering is all about teamwork. Working closely alongside the social workers, the child’s family, schools, health workers and other community agencies. You make most of the daily decisions about the child’s life, in partnership with the social worker and parents.
As a foster carer you will have no legal rights over the child, but you will have responsibility for day-to-day care.
Leicestershire encourages contact with the child’s family, by phone, letter, visits or arranged meetings. How long the child stays with you depends on the plan drawn up for the child and will be discussed with you from the beginning.
Short-term carers need to be flexible about possible changes in plans. Long-term carers can look after children through to independence, as they would their own children.
Fostering means looking after a child within your own home until they can return home or move to a permanent home. The child may be with you for a few days, months or years depending on the type of placement you, as a carer, are offering. Children who are placed short-term are likely to have a very high level of contact with birth families.
Some foster carers look after children on a long-term basis - through to adulthood. There is likely to be on-going contact with the birth family.
Adopting means becoming the legal parent of a child and once the adoption process is complete, Social Services are unlikely to remain involved.
Page Last Updated: 13 May 2013