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FAQ

Who can foster?

We positively welcome applicants from all adults over 21 years.  You will need to have a spare bedroom and offer a child/young person a secure, safe and loving home.  You will need to be resilient and stick with them through the hard times. We are committed to promoting an inclusive organisation where every individual is valued and respected.

Can I still foster If I have a criminal record?

A criminal conviction does not automatically rule you out from fostering and each situation will be considered individually. However, it is important that you are open about any convictions you might have. We carry out an enhanced DBS on you and all adult members of your household aged 17 years and over.

Can I work alongside fostering?

It is possible for foster carers to work alongside fostering.  However, as for any parent you will need to fit your work commitments alongside caring for your child. For the main foster carer to work your job has to allow good flexibility and a good support network of friends and family.  this is particularly important at the early stages of a child living with you.  They will need lots of time to settle and there will be additional meetings and appointments. For babies and younger children a foster carer will need to stay at home to care for them.

How much are foster carers paid?

As a Fostering London foster carer, you will receive a generous fostering allowance that is payable when a child is in placement with you. The payment is split into two parts; an allowance to meet the costs of caring for a child and a reward payment for you the foster carer.

Are foster carer employed by the fostering agency?

Foster carers are treated by the tax office as self-employed. This means that you will be required to register with HMRC and may be required to complete a yearly self-assessment tax return.

Do foster carers pay tax on their fostering income?

As a foster carer you may be entitled to tax relief on your fostering income. This means that if you have no other income then you will not pay tax on up to a maximum of £10,000 of your fostering income for the full financial year. Additionally, you are entitled to a weekly allowance tax relief for every week (or part week) that a child is in your care. The weekly amount is currently £200 a week for a child under 11 and £250 a week for a child aged 11 or older.

Can I foster if I am single?

It does not matter if you are single, married or in a partnership. What is important is that you have space in your life to provide a supportive and nurturing care to children. It will be important that you have a good network of family and friends to support you.

How long does it take to become a foster carer?

The length of time varies between each assessment. Typically, it takes an average of 3-6 months between receiving the referral and approval.

Do I need to own my own home?

Many foster carers do not own their own home. However, if you are renting you will need to seek permission from your landlord.

Do I need to have a spare bedroom?

Yes, you will need to have a spare bedroom for each child you foster, although some siblings may share a bedroom.

What happens once I am approved?

Once you are approved you can get started and begin fostering. We will send you suitable referrals from local authorities about potential children and young people.

What support do foster carers receive?

Fostering London provides high quality support and supervision. We appreciate how important relationships are to the success of placements and we provide quality 24/7 support. Together we form an essential team around the child. We are with you every step of the way.

Do I get a choice in the children who come to live with me?

We are committed to making good matches between the foster family and the child based upon your skills, experience and capabilities and the identified needs of the child/young person. We will always discuss every referral with you and share full information about the child. We will only progress a referral if we are all in agreement that this is a good match for you and the child.

Will you provide training?

As a learning organisation Fostering London is committed to providing high quality and engaging learning and development opportunities at every stage of your fostering career. From the beginning of your journey  all applicants will need to undertake the preparatory training called ‘Skills to Foster’ prior to approval. Once approved you will be guided and supported through your first year of fostering to achieve the TSDS, the national minimum standard for foster carers. As you progress we continue to provide exciting and relevant training and learning and development opportunities, that are individually tailored to your specific needs.