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Fostering FAQs

The following are a selection of our frequently asked questions for fostering.

To discuss fostering in more detail, find out more and ask us any questions you may have, call us today on 01382 561279 and our fostering advisor will be happy to help.


Who can Foster?

Carolina House Trust welcome carers from all walks of life, including:

  • Single people
  • Couples (married and unmarried)
  • Same-sex couples
  • Employed or unemployed
  • Homeowners and those who rent
  • Whether you are a parent or not

Children and young people coming into foster care show their distress in a variety of ways and to be effective in helping them you need to have patience, understanding and resourcefulness. We are looking for people who can provide a caring, supportive and safe environment for children and young people.

It is important that foster carers can communicate effectively and work well as part of a team not only with children but with social workers, birth parents, teachers and health professionals.

Your personal qualities are as important to us as your age, experience or qualifications.

However, there are a few things you will need to become a foster carer with Carolina House Trust;

  • You must be over the age of 21
  • You’ll need a spare bedroom
  • Willingness to undertake training and attend support groups
  • Be available full-time in order to provide a child with the quality of care and support they need
  • Be a non-smoker or willing to give up smoking

Are there lots of checks?

In order to find out if fostering is right for you, we will carry out a number of checks on you and your home.

These are nothing to worry about and include:

  • PVG check or Disclosure Scotland checks for yourself and each significant adult in your household over the age of 16
  • Checks with your local authority
  • Medical check up carried out by your own GP
  • Checks with the education department
  • Health and Safety check of your home
  • Household pet assessment

We will also request references from previous employers and two people who have known you for longer than two years.

Can I be a foster carer and still go out to work?

We believe that to provide a child with the quality of care and support that they need, there needs to be at least one carer at home full time.

We wouldn’t expect anyone to give up work until they have been approved by the foster panel.

Can I choose which age or gender of child I would prefer to foster?

Yes you can but if you are relying on income from fostering you are more likely to have continuous placements if you are willing to take children of all ages.

How will fostering affect other children within our family?

If you have made the decision to foster as a family and the children have been informed and involved throughout the assessment process, they are likely to find it a rewarding experience.

Do I need previous childcare experience?

It would be helpful, but it’s not essential.

Most people have transferable skills and we will work with you to help identify these.

How do we know what age and gender of child will fit in with our family?

This will be explored in detail during the assessment process. There will be many factors to consider including the needs of your family.

Will I be classed as self-employed?

Yes, foster carers are responsible for making their own payments of Income Tax and National Insurance.

We can provide further information on Tax and National Insurance contributions. In recognition of the valuable role of a foster carer the tax allowance is generous and many foster carers pay little or no tax.

Do I have to have a spare bedroom

Yes, and this must be available at the time of application.

How much will I know about a child or young person before they are placed with me?

We will give you as much information as possible about a child or young person before the placement begins. When planning placements, we always try to arrange for our carers to meet the child or children they’ll be caring for.

However, this isn’t always possible, especially if a child is placed in an emergency. When this happens, we’ll try to give you as much information as we can when we discuss the potential placement with you.

What is ‘Skills to Foster’ training?

As part of the assessment journey, all prospective foster carers are required to attend ‘Skills to Foster’ training.

The course is split into 8 sessions which is delivered over 3-4 training blocks held at weekends or in the evening. ‘Skills to Foster’ is fun and informative. It is an opportunity to meet with other people interested in fostering and to hear from experienced foster carers and social workers. It is run in an informal way to ensure that everyone feels at ease.

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