We understand that you will have a lot of questions when deciding to become a foster carer. That’s why we have gathered some of the most frequently asked questions to help support your decision.

There are so many myths around foster care, with people unsure if they are too old to foster, that they may not have the right experience, or that they don’t have the relevant training or qualifications. Below we have provided answers to these common questions and of course, if we can provide any further information or insights, please do get in touch.

Do I need a spare room to foster?

Yes. In order to foster with us, you are required to have a spare bedroom.

We ask our planned short breaks carers to have two spare rooms in order that they can provide short-term care for up to two young people at a time.

What experience do I need?

To foster with Kibble, you would be required to have at least three years’ experience of providing childcare in a family, voluntary or professional setting.

Foster carers must have an interest in, and enjoy working with young people. They will need to deal patiently with challenging behaviour and have an understanding of the needs of young people going through adolescence who have the added difficulty of disrupted family situations. A commitment to valuing and respecting children and young adults is essential. You don’t require any previous qualifications to become a foster carer – we provide a comprehensive training programme.

What training do you offer?

All full-time carers must complete an HNC in Childcare and an SVQ in Social Care. You will also be required to undertake other mandatory training. There will be lots of support offered to help you to meet these requirements.

Am I too old to foster?

Your age is not really relevant when deciding to foster. Many people choose to wait until they are older before becoming a foster carer. The advantage of this is you will have a wealth of life experience. Your health is far more important than your age. As children and young people can be very active, it is important that you are physically fit.

I have health issues; will that stop me from fostering?

Not necessarily. All applicants will undergo a full medical assessment to determine if they are fit to foster. All applicants are treated equally and only conditions that would impact on your ability to meet the needs of a young person placed with you would prevent you from fostering. Health conditions that could be exacerbated by becoming a foster carer, therefore putting your health at risk, would also exclude you. If you are unsure then it would be best to discuss this early on with one of our service managers.

Can I foster if I have a criminal conviction?

All foster carers undergo a Protection of Vulnerable Groups (PVG) check. We need to know about all criminal convictions, and this is determined at an early stage of the process. While not all convictions will prevent you from proceeding, there are certain convictions that would prohibit you from becoming a foster carer. Please do not assume that your situation excludes you without discussing it with our fostering team first.

Will I have a say in which young people I foster?

We will take care to ensure any young person placed with you is well matched to the needs of both you and the young person. Ultimately a foster carer has the right to turn down placements.

What if there is an emergency?

We have dedicated emergency short breaks workers who will support you through an emergency or placement breakdown. Support can take many forms from a phone call to short breaks care, depending on the situation.

I want to work with babies, is that possible?

The age range for our fostering service is 5-25. If you are interested in fostering babies, we would recommend you contact another fostering agency, or local authority, that works with children of that age range.

Am I allowed to take a young person on holiday?

Yes, if this is agreed by the young person’s care team. We would want the child or young person to have the same opportunities as others not in care.

Do children stay in contact with their birth families?

Contact with birth families can be very important to our young people. There are various types of contact which can include indirect contact (e.g. letters or cards), or direct contact such as time alone with the family, or supervised contact.

Often there are meetings to attend such as progress meetings, LAAC (Looked After  and Accommodated Child) reviews, Children’s Hearings etc. and the parents along with the foster carer are often in attendance at these too.

Can I still keep my current job and foster too?

This depends on the type of placement you wish to offer. For full-time foster carers and planned short breaks carers, we would ask that your focus is on the young person/young people in your care and that you have no other employment. Because of this we offer very generous professional fees and allowances. The only exceptions to this are the pro-rata and adult placement carer roles where you may be in other employment.

I am not doing this for the money, however if I have to give up my job I need to know how much I will be paid?

Of course. We understand that no one does this for money, but it is essential to know that you can still meet your commitments. The fees vary depending on your role.

Full-time foster carers will receive a professional fee of approximately £27,000 pa along with approximately £11,000 in allowances for the young person in their care. This is a total income of £38,000 pa.

Full-time planned short breaks carers receive approximately £20,000 pa, along with any allowances for children in their care.

It is important to note that the allowance always follows the child. If you take a short break then the short breaks carer will receive the allowance for the child. You will retain your professional fee.

It is also important to understand that as a foster carer you are self-employed and will have to complete your own tax returns. You will receive informal help with this via other carers. The Fostering Network also run free workshops on this. Foster carers are given generous allowances when it comes to tax.

Will I get any holidays?

Yes. All of our carers receive 28 days paid short breaks per year. The exception to this is pro-rata carers.

How long does the process take?

This can depend on various things. However as a general rule the process can take approximately six months.