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Is any one a foster carer??

I am thinking of becoming a foster carer when i return back to the UK. I have read up about it but wondered if anyone here has any first hand experience/ advice to give me.
The joys and pitfalls.
Not sure how i feel about having a social worker checking on me especially if she is in her 20's lol
Any advice would be helpful
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I am one of the 63336
Hi Deryn

I used to work for a fostering agency so can only talk about what we did. It will also vary depnding on whether you are employed by a private agency or a local authority. (My feeling is private agencies train over and above the LAs. The children placed with you have a social worker and you have your own social worker).

You and anybody living in your household will be investigated fully (CRB checks, local authority checks, medical and another one I can't remember - it is 2-3 years since I worked for them!)

A social worker will interview you, talk about your family, your childhood, your experiences, your support network etc. This will take place over a few months. You will get a no-holds-barred 'introduction' to fostering so you know exactly what you are getting in to. your house will be inspected and safety features have to be in place.

You will have to have a spare room per foster child (some authorities will allow one room for two siblings of the same sex).

When the application process has been gone through you are invited to attend a panel meeting. The panel are independant specialists who will have read through your application, your assessing social workers reports etc and will then decide whether to approve you as a carer and for what ages/sexes.

Children being presented for fostering tend more and more to be 7-8 years old upwards. There are very very few babies put up for fostering. Many of the children - if not most - have witnessed some terrible things which does come out in their behaviour. During the application process you will be able to state what would not be acceptable to you.

If you decide to become a carer and are accepted then you will be contacted when a child is put up for fostering that your agency thinks you would be suitable for. They will give you a few details about the child based on which you say whether you wish to be considered. Your details are then forwarded to the local authority who decides yes or no.

That's all I can think of off the top of my head!


I am one of the 63336
That's very helpful Sue. Did you find it rewarding?
Is one able to foster short term? rather than for months with the same child?

I only worked in the office, I wouldn't have the patience to do it myself but I know most of our carers found it very very rewarding indeed.

I forgot to say - and I'm not for one minute saying this applies to you - a 'dodgy' background doesn't stop you becoming a carer. We had one carer who had been a prostitute in her 20s. She had turned her life around and had knowledge that would help her to work with disturbed children.

We did have a few people who were respite carers, either for children who just needed a place for a short time or to help other carers who wanted a break.

These sites may help:

Welcome | Could You Foster?
Fostering Agency, Foster Care, Become a Foster Carer

I know for most people who foster it is a secondary thing, but the pay is good.

You mentioned in an other post about your adopted daughter, the assessing social worker would have to hve a chat with her too, after all having someone else come and live in your house would impact on her too, but its all done in a friendly/chatty way. Most of our social workers (the ones that supported the carers) were on very good terms with carers natural children.

The agencies are on call 24 hours a day so if you had a problem you can get hold of someone plus they visit you regularly.


Back to reality!
I know this an old post but not sure if anyone can help? I'm really interested in fostering- I have a bit of experience of the system etc. My only concern is the money- I know this is a bad thing!
We have some debts to clear so I would need to work/ or be able to paid enough for doing it.
Can anyone help me out? I've had a look online but can't really find much info.
T x

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