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Fostering Team

Virtually everyone has the right to apply to be considered as a carer. Foster Carers are as diverse as the children they look after.

You can be single or married or be in a long-term stable relationship. You can have a high or low income. You can own your own home or you can rent.

The only specific barriers to applying are these:

You cannot apply to be a carer if you have certain types of criminal record. Because of this, the application process will include a Disclosing Barring Service checks in order to exclude people who would not be considered suitable to become carers. A conviction will not necessarily stop you from being accepted, but it will mean that our Children's Social Care Department will carefully consider your application.

What is important is that you have time and space for a child who may be demanding. You will need to show that you can care properly for children and are willing to undergo preparation and training for the job you will be doing.

You will be asked to supply the names and addresses of personal referees who will be supportive of your application. Foster Carers are needed from all ethnic communities.

Making an application does not commit you to anything and many people do not go further than the first information stage. This is quite acceptable, as people need to feel sure that fostering is right for them.

We need foster carers to look after approximately 200 children and young people (although this does vary) at any one time. Children need to be looked after in Public Care for a wide range of reasons. Being a foster carer means welcoming a child or young person into your home and providing a safe and nurturing environment for them. It also means that you will need to be able to work in partnership with a child's family and also a wide range of professionals involved with the child.

Fostering is flexible and can be done on a short-term, long-term full-time or part-time basis. Some carers provide short term care and this can be anything from one day up to 2 years. Other people may foster on a long term basis, for example caring for a child until they reach adulthood. Respite carers provide short term breaks for children and their families, including children who have disabilities, usually one or two week-ends per month.

Fostering a child is a big decision and will require a great deal of careful consideration.

You can still apply to foster a child if you want to look after a certain age group as we need people who will look after children from all age groups from 0 - 18 years. You can also apply to foster if you are retired.

We will provide essential equipment such as cots, beds, car seats, etc. to foster carers for all age groups of children.

Before you can foster a child, references are taken from the:

Disclosure Barring Service 
your GP
education Department
Social Services
Health Department.

This would be explained to you and your written permission obtained.  References are also sought from ex-partners where you have a previous marriage and permission is also requested to speak to your children.

You will also be visited by a social worker at your home, after you have been asked a few questions on the telephone. During the visit, you can ask questions and the social worker will ask to look around your home.

The time taken to become a foster carer can vary - we ask people to allow eight months from initial enquiry, although this can vary either way dependent on circumstances.

All foster carers receive a weekly allowance for each child they look after.

Who to contact


Where to go

PO Box 4

Time / Date Details

When is it on
Monday to Friday: 9am - 5pm. We hold regular monthly informal drop in events, come along to find out more.
 Last updated: 11 May 2020