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Want to know if you can foster or adopt with Somerset County Council?

Take our quiz to find out if you can become a foster carer or adopter…

Begin the quiz

How old are you?

Under 21 21-40 40+

Under 21

You must be at least 21 years old. If you’re under 21, please don’t give up. Find out as much as you can about adoption and fostering in the meantime.

21-40

You must be at least 21 years old and there is no upper age limit to adopt or foster. However, you should have the potential to care for a child throughout their childhood and offer ongoing support into adulthood.

40+

You must be at least 21 years old and there is no upper age limit to adopt or foster. However, you should have the potential to care for a child throughout their childhood and offer ongoing support into adulthood.

Are you single or in a relationship?

Single In a relationship

Single

We have been successfully placing children with single adopters and foster carers for many years. It is helpful to think about who would be able to offer you emotional, social and practical support once a child is placed. If you have a partner who is not going to be involved in your application to adopt or foster we will still need to have some information about them and their potential role with your adopted child or foster children, now and in the future.

In a relationship

Couples in a stable, committed long-term relationship whether they are married or unmarried and whatever their sexual orientation can be potential adopters or foster carer.

Do you have a spare room?

Yes No

Yes

Great – you do need a spare room to be able to foster or adopt. Fostered and adopted children and young people need their own space and privacy, and a place to do their homework.

No

Unfortunately you do need a spare room to be able to foster or adopt. But don’t give up – find out as much as you can about fostering and adoption and look into whether you can move to a home with a spare room. Although two adopted siblings could share a room if they are of the same gender, it is preferable that they each have their own room and for some children this will be a requirement.

Do you work?

Yes No

Yes

You can work and foster or adopt. However, you will need to consider if you will be able to balance your work commitments with looking after a child or children. Children and young people who are fostered or adopted have often experienced loss, separation and trauma. They need a stable carer to meet their needs and therefore we would be concerned if a young child was going to need a lot of child care. We expect adopters to take 6 to 12 months adoption leave to enable a child to settle in.

No

It is great if you can commit to a child’s needs full time and you may want to consider our specialist fostering schemes that pay a higher fee and often require you to be home based.

Do you own your home?

Home owner Renting

Home owner

Owning your home is not essential to becoming an adopter or foster carer. If you have the space and security to care for children as they grow up you will be considered. During an assessment you will be helped to think about how to ensure your home is safe for any child placed with you.

Renting

If you have the space and security to care for children as they grow up you will be considered. We will need to know that you have some security of tenure and that your landlord will be supportive of your plan to adopt or if not what your alternative plan will be. During an assessment you will be helped to think about how to ensure your home is safe for any child placed with you.

Are you a UK resident?

Yes Yes, recently No

Yes

Great. You must be resident in the British Islands for at least a year to apply to adopt or foster.

Yes, recently

Great. You must be resident in the British Islands for at least a year to apply to adopt or foster.

No

You must live as a resident in the British Islands for at least a year to apply to adopt or foster.

Why?
We need to establish that you have a settled home in this country and that you intend to stay so that you can provide security and stability. In the majority of cases, children in care have always lived in England and would be English speaking. It would be very confusing for a child who has already coped with an unsettled start in life, to be placed with adopters who intended to move to another country soon after adoption and you could not move if you fostered. Where this does happen the merits for this would need to be decided according to the individual needs of the child. Need to research further? Wherever there is an issue about your domicile and habitual residence status, you should seek independent legal advice. Someone who leaves the British Islands to take up employment elsewhere may acquire habitual residence in that Country but also retain habitual residence in the British Islands. This would include members of the armed forces who are deployed on duty abroad.

Do you have any serious criminal convictions?

No Not sure Yes

No

Good, as you cannot apply to become an adopter or foster carer if you or anyone living in your household has a criminal conviction or has been cautioned for specified criminal offences against children and/or some sexual offences against adults.

Checks are taken up through the Disclosure and Barring Service. We will discuss with you any convictions that are recorded against you.

Not sure

It's worth noting that if you have a criminal record for any offences you should declare these to us at an early stage. We will give consideration to the type of offence, when it was committed, the extent to which it has a bearing on being a parent and whether it was revealed at the time of application and how you have reflected on your past actions.

You cannot apply to become an adopter or foster carer if you or anyone living in your household has a criminal conviction or has been cautioned for specified criminal offences against children and/or some sexual offences against adults.

Checks are taken up through the Disclosure and Barring Service. We will discuss with you any convictions that are recorded against you.

Yes

It's worth noting that if you have a criminal record for any offences you should declare these to us at an early stage. We will give consideration to the type of offence, when it was committed, the extent to which it has a bearing on being a parent and whether it was revealed at the time of application and how you have reflected on your past actions.

You cannot apply to become an adopter or foster carer if you or anyone living in your household has a criminal conviction or has been cautioned for specified criminal offences against children and/or some sexual offences against adults.

Checks are taken up through the Disclosure and Barring Service. We will discuss with you any convictions that are recorded against you.

Do you have any disabilities?

Yes No

Yes

It is recognised that the life experiences of disabled people can give them a unique insight into the lives of children in care, who often have a sense of themselves as 'different' or who may also have a disability. Living alongside disability in the context of positive relationships can teach children the importance of inclusivity and how to value difference.

The Medical Adviser will assess the information provided through a medical on a disabled applicant and an assessing social worker will also explore with you any potential impact this may have on parenting and how these would be managed.

Would you say you are in good health?

Yes Not sure No

Yes

Good. During the assessment, we will undertake a medical which will assess two things:
  • Your longevity so as to reduce the chances of an adopted of fostered child suffering further loss of a parent.
  • The impact of health issues on your ability to raise and parent a child who may have been adversely affected by their earlier experiences.
As well as existing health conditions, we will want to discuss lifestyle issues such as obesity, smoking and alcohol consumption. These issues are not barriers to adoption or fostering but they could present health risks in the future. If you have resolved any problems with such issues in the past, we may consider that you have shown strength and motivation to deal with problems which would enhance your application. If you have any anxiety about health issues you can discuss your concerns with us.

Not sure

You need to have energy and will be expected to give care and support for your adopted child throughout childhood and into young adulthood. During the assessment, we will undertake a medical which will assess two things:
  • Your longevity so as to reduce the chances of an adopted of fostered child suffering further loss of a parent.
  • the impact of health issues on your ability to raise and parent a child who may have been adversely affected by their earlier experiences.
As well as existing health conditions, we will want to discuss lifestyle issues such as obesity, smoking and alcohol consumption. These issues are not barriers to adoption or fostering but they could present health risks in the future. If you have resolved any problems with such issues in the past, we may consider that you have shown strength and motivation to deal with problems which would enhance your application. If you have any anxiety about health issues you can discuss your concerns with us.

No

You need to have energy and will be expected to give care and support for your adopted child throughout childhood and into young adulthood. During the assessment, we will undertake a medical which will assess two things:
  • Your longevity so as to reduce the chances of an adopted of fostered child suffering further loss of a parent.
  • the impact of health issues on your ability to raise and parent a child who may have been adversely affected by their earlier experiences.
As well as existing health conditions, we will want to discuss lifestyle issues such as obesity, smoking and alcohol consumption. These issues are not barriers to adoption or fostering but they could present health risks in the future. If you have resolved any problems with such issues in the past, we may consider that you have shown strength and motivation to deal with problems which would enhance your application. If you have any anxiety about health issues you can discuss your concerns with us.

Do you have any children?

Yes No

Yes

If you already have children it is essential that you consider how adopting or fostering another child will affect their lives. Think about their ability to cope with the arrival of a new child.

Points to consider:
Children in care may have had difficult early experiences and need a family where their needs can be prioritised. How to prepare for this and the needs of other children in the household will be an important part of the assessment. Further along the process the specific needs of a child that has been identified as a possible match for you will be discussed.

Preferable conditions:
Experience shows that giving each child space is helpful and therefore a wider age gap between the children may be better. We can discuss this with you.

No

If you don't have any children and are considering adoption as a way of having a family we will want to understand how you have reached this decision. It is helpful to think about how much experience you have of looking after children in your own home and whether you may be able to increase your experience in this area.

Does anyone smoke in your house?

No Yes Giving up

No

That's good news.

Yes

Although you may not be automatically excluded from adopting or fostering, we will strongly encourage you to give up because of the known medical risks of passive smoking for young children.

If you hope to adopt a child aged 0–5 years, it is likely that you will be asked to give up smoking at least six months before we start your assessment because of the medically recognised associated health risks to children.

Giving up

If you hope to adopt a child aged 0–5 years, you will be asked to give up smoking at least six months before we start an assessment with you because of the medically recognised associated health risks to children.

If you are interested in adopting a child aged 5 or over we will ask you to consider how you will ensure your smoking does not impact on a child placed with you and how you will encourage them to follow a healthy lifestyle.

Have you had any previous contact with Children’s Social Care or Adult Social Care (social services)?

No Yes

No

That is fine.

Yes

We will check our records to see what previous contact you’ve had with social services in Somerset. We will consider if the contact you’ve had with the service has an impact on your ability to be a parent. We will discuss the records with you.

Would you say your total income is:

Low Medium High

Low

Being on a low income or benefits should not stop you from becoming an adopter or foster carer but you will need to consider how a child or children may impact on your finances. We can give you some advice and support on this. Plus we may be able to offer financial assistance if you decide to adopt or offer long term care to a sibling group of children who have a disability or a special need of some kind.

All foster carers in Somerset now receive a fee for looking after a child and you can work your way up a progression payment scale. Specialist types of foster carer offer a significant fee to carers in recognition of the commitment you need to offer a child. You will need to look into what benefits or Tax Credits you may be entitled to.

Medium

Being on a high income is not a necessity in becoming an adopter or foster carer. You will need to consider how a child or children may impact on your finances. We can give you some advice and support on this. We may be able to offer financial assistance if you decide to adopt or offer long term care to a sibling group of children who have a disability or a special need of some kind.

All foster carers in Somerset now receive a fee for looking after a child and you can work your way up a progression payment scale. Specialist types of foster carer offer a significant fee to carers in recognition of the commitment you need to offer a child. You will need to look into what benefits or Tax Credits you may be entitled to.

High

Being on a high income is not a necessity in becoming an adopter or foster carer. You will need to consider how a child or children may impact on your finances. We can give you some advice and support on this. We may be able to offer financial assistance if you decide to adopt or offer long term care to a sibling group of children who have a disability or a special need of some kind.

All foster carers in Somerset now receive a fee for looking after a child and you can work your way up a progression payment scale. Specialist types of foster carer offer a significant fee to carers in recognition of the commitment you need to offer a child. You will need to look into what benefits or Tax Credits you may be entitled to.

Are there any pets in your home?

Yes No

Yes

We need to be sure that any pets that you own do not pose a threat to children's health or safety. Pets can give children companionship and pleasure, but social workers do need to be reassured that there are no significant safety risks to the child. Also, some children may suffer from allergies which would prevent placement with some pets. A report from a vet may be requested.

No

That is fine. We need to know because we need to be sure that any pets which you may own do not pose a threat to children’s health or safety.

Are you considering fostering or adoption?

Fostering Adoption Not sure

Fostering

That is great. There are lots of different types of fostering and it will depend on how much time and energy you can give and your skills and experience to which type of fostering best suits you. There is information our website about the different types of fostering and we can discuss these with you. We particularly need foster carers to look after children on a long term basis for most of their childhood. This is similar in some ways to adoption and if you are interested in long term fostering you may also want to look into adoption.

Adoption

That is great. Adoption is about providing a permanent family for a child. There is more information about adoption on our website. You may also want to look into fostering. We particularly need foster carers to look after children long term for the whole of their childhood which is similar to adoption.

Not sure

That is fine. There’s lots of information on our website about fostering and adoption to help you decide what you would like to do. We would encourage you to come along to an information event to find out more about the different types of fostering and adoption and speak to social workers, foster carers and adopters to get an idea of what it is really like. It is important that you think through all your options and discuss with your partner, children, relatives and friends. We will give you as much information as we can and help you decide which option is best for you.
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Quiz complete!

We hope you found the quiz helpful and it has answered some of your questions.

Call to start your adventure
0800 587 9900

What’s next?

To find out more download our information booklet or come along to our next event or make an enquiry online and someone from our team will call you back.

Come along to our next event:

Sep 20

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