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FAQs

 

 

We are looking for foster carers who live in Gloucestershire. If you have fostered for another local authority or agency and you are moving to Gloucestershire, you can transfer to GCC. If you already foster in Gloucestershire, you can transfer to GCC and bring any children you foster with you. Take a look at the benefits of fostering with us.

 

You need to be over 21 years old to apply to foster but there is no upper age limit. We would need to have a medical report from your doctor and you will need to lead an active and healthy lifestyle.

 

This all depends on the type of fostering you do and the plan for the child.  It can be anything from a few weeks as part of a short term arrangement to long term care. You and your fostering social worker decide which type of fostering is right for you.

 

No not necessarily although most children will be experiencing a period of uncertainty or may be going through a family crisis.  Each child will act differently when they first go into foster care and foster carers need to be sensitive and understanding of the child’s needs.

 

This depends on the reason why the child is in foster care. The level of contact depends on the child’s circumstances and every case is different. Foster carers are expected to work very closely with the child’s family. With younger children the contact may be daily for a while. Your fostering social worker will discuss the level of contact before the child is placed with you.

 

Yes, if your own children are over two years of age.  Your experience of parenting will be an advantage and some children may benefit from being placed within a larger family.  If you do have children the decision to foster will need to be made by all of you.

 

No. We actively encourage applications from single people.  Single parents often have the skills and abilities that we need.

 

Yes.  It makes no difference whether or not you are married but you need to have been living together for two years.

 

No, although it depends on the type of fostering you wish to do.  We would need a carer to be at home for pre-school age children, but for older children fostering can be combined with other employment, although a good support network is essential. You also need to have cover available for after school and holiday periods.

 

Fostering allowances shouldn’t affect your benefits.  We have carers who claim benefits although you would be advised to check with your local benefits office.

 

Yes, as long as you have enough room and your home will provide a secure environment. However, you will need to get in touch with your landlord to check that they agree to this.

 

We welcome applications from disabled people. Part of the assessment process will be to look at your support network. We will also request an early medical report to assess your disability to ensure that it does not prevent you from caring for a child.

 

You can foster regardless of your religion or ethnicity and we will always endeavour to place children with foster families that meet their religious and cultural needs. However it is essential that you are able to work with the plan for the child regardless of your beliefs.

 

Foster carers would need to be sensitive to a child’s cultural, religious, physical and emotional needs and prepared to meet the needs of children from all backgrounds. Children need a foster home without undue delay and we would not leave children waiting if we have carers available. 

 

Just because you have a criminal record does not necessarily mean you won’t be able to foster a child – it depends on the nature and severity of the crime and how long ago it was committed.  However, people with convictions for violent or sexual offences against children cannot foster. We would require DBS (Disclosure & Barring Service) clearance before you can foster children.

 

You would need to attend a preparation course. This covers all areas of fostering and tells you about the other professionals that are working with the children and young people. Once you become an approved carer we offer support and training.

 

The amount paid to foster carers depends entirely on the skills you have to offer and the type of fostering you do. See the information on fees and allowances.

 

Foster carers work on a self-employed basis. Everyone (whether foster carers or not) gets a personal allowance of £11,000 per annum (2016/17) - an amount of income on which the Government takes no tax. In addition to the personal allowance, the Government provides qualifying care relief - a further tax free allowance for foster carers who look after a child in care. The qualifying amount is different for each foster carer, depending on how many children you have fostered, their ages, and how long you fostered them within the tax year. This will determine whether you need to pay any tax or national insurance on the income you earn from fostering. Additional weekly fees may be subject to tax and national insurance contributions.

 

We do advise that the main carer has access to a car as you will need to attend meetings and transport children to various places as required, especially if you are fostering a young child.

 

All children over three years old must have their own bedroom. Bedrooms should be large enough to accommodate not only a bed but also sufficient storage for the child’s personal possessions. Siblings may be able to share a room but this depends on the room size (a child must have their own bed), age and sex of the children and is at the discretion of the child’s social worker.

 

Being a smoker will not necessarily mean you can’t foster, although, due to the effects of passive smoking we would not place a child under five years old with you.

 

The Fostering Network considers the current research evidence provides no compelling reasons for restricting the use of e-cigarettes, therefore, foster carers should not be prevented from fostering or applying to foster because of their use of e-cigarettes. The Fostering Network advises that it is good practice not to use them in front of children and young people until more evidence is gained about the role modelling effect of this on the smoking behaviour of children.

 

Having pets does not prevent you from fostering; in fact they can be an asset to a foster family. Every animal is different and your pets will be assessed as part of the process of becoming a foster carer, taking into account factors such as their temperament and behaviour. As a pet owner, you also need to think about how you would feel and react if one of your pets was injured by a child.

 

You can have a pond in your garden although we would assess the safety implications especially if we placed small children with you. We usually ask that ponds are covered over and recommend a fence is put round a large pond to avoid any accidents.

 

You are allowed to have a hot tub or swimming pool but you would have to be mindful of the dangers to children and carefully check the manufacturers guidelines on health and safety.

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