Frequently Asked Questions
Making the decision to foster can have a major impact on a family. If you have daughters and/or sons they should be included in any family decision made with regard to fostering. Their can be many potential issues: they will have to accept the idea of perhaps sharing possessions, space and above all, their time with you. They may experience emotional and challenging behaviour which they may find difficult. With support and guidance, there can be many positives and the experience overall can be extremely enriching.
The Inland Revenue class Foster carers as self-employed which means you’re entitled to tax relief on your income. You could pay little or no tax or national insurance according to your own financial circumstances. For more details check on our professional fees, tax and allowances section below.
This is not necessarily so. The law states that only criminal convictions that prevent people from fostering are this that relate to an offence against children or a sexual offence. Offences of a minor nature should not count against an application to foster. All criminal convictions will need to be disclosed and a DBS check is obligatory for anyone considering fostering.
We will aim to give you as much information as possible when we have a potential placement for you to consider. We get the information in the form of a referral from the local authority which we will discuss with you and help you reach a decision. There is no obligation to accept a placement.
From initial enquiry through to being approved as a foster carer the assessment, training and approval process can take between four to six months. It is a sign of an applicants commitment when they respond quickly by providing the necessary documentation shortening the process.
In a word Yes. Anyone may apply to foster irrespective of whether they are single, married or living with a partner.
A persons sexual orientation is not considered a barrier to fostering. The legislation is very clear surrounding the equal treatment of all persons gay or straight and there are many gay families currently fostering.
Yes, a foster child has to have their own room.
A legal minimum age to foster has not been set by government. To register with 24Seven you will need to be over 21. Currently, there is no official upper age limit but it should be remembered foster carers need to enjoy reasonable health as fostering can be at times demanding.A rounded life experience is important to fostering. People who have emotional stamina and who are patient and tolerant make the best carers and they tend to be a little older than 21.
It is part of the responsibility of a foster carer to manage the school run and any medical appointments a child or young person needs to attend. If unforeseen circumstances arise, your 24Seven social worker can assist you in making alternative provision.
There is now legislation in place regarding smoking in public areas and and work places so there are considerations relating to the fostering of children. Foster carers who smoke cannot look after children under the age of 5. There is an expectation that foster carers will avoid smoking in the home choosing instead to smoke outside. From the 1st October 2015, new legislation in England and Wales makes it illegal to smoke in a vehicle carrying someone who is under 18.
An Independent Fostering Agency (IFA) is a privately run company specialising in the recruitment, approval and ongoing support of foster carers. IFA’s work closely with Local Authorities who retain overall responsibility for their foster children whether they are placed with their own LA foster carers or those of an IFA.
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"24 Seven were soon to take away our reservations and any fear we had of failing. We were nurtured and guided through what should be a very nerve wracking time. Instead, it was to be a time of revisiting our past and looking forward to the future with open minds and realising we made the right choice to foster."