Can I foster?

Can I foster?

Just like the children and young people we look after, foster carers in Warwickshire come from all parts of the community.

We need people from all walks of life so that we can find the best match for every child.

We will consider you for fostering if you are:

  • single – male or female
  • from any ethnic background
  • families with or without children, married or living with a partner
  • a person with a disability
  • couples of the same or different gender

What matters most is that you have the time and space, commitment and patience, alongside the care and skills to work with children and their parents.

Foster carers for Warwickshire need a spare bedroom to accommodate children and young people.

If you have any questions about your suitability to foster for Warwickshire not covered on this page, please contact us.

What is the difference between adoption and fostering?

  • Adoption is taking on the role of the parent for the child permanently/long-term and transfers all rights and responsibilities from the original parent or parents.
  • Fostering is caring for children either short-term or long-term where the parents and local authority retain the rights and responsibilities for the child.

I have no experience of caring for children

Ideally, you should have some experience of caring for children either through caring for your own children, work experience or caring for children of friends or relatives. If you don’t have any experience with children, please call us to discuss.

I do not live in Warwickshire

We are happy to accept enquiries from people who live close to the Warwickshire border, but you will need to be able to transport children to school and family time sessions within Warwickshire and attend meetings and training at offices and venues within Warwickshire.

I live in a rented property

If you live in a rented property we expect you to have:

  • a secure tenancy
  • a tenancy agreement which states that you have to be given a minimum of two months notice to leave the property by your landlord.

If you have a tenancy agreement we will ask to see a copy during the assessment process.

I am employed, full or part-time

Foster carers for Warwickshire can work but need to be available at key times of the day for children.

  • Foster carers for school-aged children need to be available preferably before and after school and during school holidays.
  • Foster carers for pre-school-aged children need to have one carer at home full-time.
  • Foster carers also need to be flexible with working hours to attend meetings in relation to the child and care for a child if they are ill or out of school.

Someone in my household has a criminal record

We try to get a balanced picture of where people are now in their lives. Minor offences committed some time ago may not exclude you from fostering although serious offences including violence or offences against children will. Talk in confidence to a member of the fostering team if you have any concerns about this.

All members of a household aged 18 and over have to have a Disclosure and Barring Service check and we will consider any offences as part of the assessment of the household’s suitability to foster.

Someone in my household smokes

We will not approve any household where any member of the household smokes or vapes inside the house. This includes the adult children of prospective foster carers and lodgers. Therefore if a member of your household smokes or vapes they would need to be willing to stop or smoke/vape outside. For children aged 0 to 5, we will not accept an application where any member of the household smokes.

Will the child continue to go to their own school or attend a school within my community?

Children placed permanently/long-term may transfer to a school within your community. Children placed short-term may continue to attend their regular school with their friends.

Will I meet the child’s parents or other family members?

Most children benefit from family time with their parents or other family members. The frequency and arrangements for supervision of this will vary. Family time can also take place by phone or letter.

What qualities do I need to be a foster carer?

Foster carers have particular skills and abilities which help them give and maintain a good standard of care to the children they look after.

You will need to be able to:

  • build a child’s sense of worth and identity
  • stick with a child through the bad times and the good
  • promote a child’s health and education
  • encourage a child to develop and keep up friendships
  • understand the many different needs of children
  • respect and accept a young person’s identity, sexuality, religion, culture, race, language and any special needs
  • show flexibility in handling a range of challenging and difficult behaviour
  • encourage and support contact with a child’s parents and family as appropriate
  • develop your own skills through preparation and training.

Warwickshire foster carers have said they feel foster carers need to:

  • be able to give support
  • be caring and kind
  • be able to advocate for children and young people
  • have good communication skills
  • be able to have fun and enjoy spending time with children
  • be understanding and non-judgemental
  • be patient
  • persevere
  • be tolerant
  • be compassionate
  • be able to put in place clear boundaries
  • be welcoming

Young people from Warwickshire’s Children in Care Council have said they feel foster carers need to be patient, loving, caring, understanding, tolerant, fun, fair, strict if they need to be, and non-judgemental of young people’s past or behaviour. Young people said that they want to feel part of a foster carer’s family and not made to feel different from foster carer’s own children.

Do you have the qualities to provide this type of care to children and young people?

Training and support will help to improve your skills as well as providing you with an opportunity to develop others.

Can I cope emotionally?

There will be times when you will be upset, perhaps when a child you develop a bond with moves on. Your fostering social worker and other foster carers will help to support you, but remember there will be plenty of times when fostering is fun and personally rewarding.

What effect will fostering have on my own family?

It is important that you talk to any children living with you about how they feel about fostering. Fostering will affect them as much as it will affect you

  • Ask them how they might feel about sharing you and your time with other children.
  • Ask how they might feel about sharing space in the house and possibly toys as well.
  • What about your wider family? Will they be around to help you? Will they babysit?