Frequently Asked Fostering Questions
Q: What is Fostering?
A: Fostering is offering a safe, stable home to a child or teenager when their own family are unable to.
These children and young people may have complex circumstances, experienced abuse or neglect, or have parents who are unable to care for them.
They need enthusiastic, resilient and supportive Foster Carers or Foster Families to be there for them.
Q: What happens when I fill out the contact form?
A: By filling out our contact form you are expressing your interest in finding out more about fostering. It might be that you are ready to start your fostering journey, want to find out more about the application and assessment process, or want to know what we offer our Foster Carers for their vital work.
Q: Who can foster?
A: People from all walks of life can apply to foster – It doesn’t matter if you are single, married, in a same sex relationship, own or rent your home, have children of your own, or not.
A spare room in your home, enthusiasm, a willingness to learn, and bucket loads of patience are a must though!
Q: Do I need any qualifications to foster?
A: You don’t – and we offer high-quality training that comes recommended by our Foster Carers. You will attend a Skills To Foster course which takes you through all the essential skills and knowledge you need to foster. We will financially support you to attend further training which will help you progress your fostering career once you’ve begun.
Q: What happens when I start my first placement, will there be anyone to help me?
A: You will get a supervising social worker who will keep a regular contact with you and visit you monthly to make sure you, your children, and the children or young people you are caring for are all doing well. The Emergency Duty Team is also available outside office hours. There are regular support groups and a newly-established Somerset Foster Care Association, run by foster carers for foster carers, which is free to join for peer support, mentoring, and to give your professional feedback to the Fostering Team.
Q: Do foster carers get paid?
A: All foster carers, once approved by the Foster Panel, receive a weekly fostering allowance to cover day-to-day expenses, and a fee payment which increases dependent on your skills, experience and learning, This pay and progression scheme also provides additional rewards for carers who are able to care for sibling groups, helping brothers and sisters stay together. There are additional allowances to help you organise holiday trips and birthdays, and we pay retainers for our specialist schemes, which provide an income between placements where carers are required to be home-based. We also provide financial support for foster carers attending training courses.
Q: I’m interested in becoming a foster carer, what do I do now?
A: Fill out the enquiry form above, and a member of our friendly fostering team will get back to you shortly. We will then contact you and chat with you in more detail about the process of becoming a foster carer. Or you can phone us for a confidential chat on 0800 587 9900.
Q: I still have more questions…
This website has lots of useful information, from the different types of fostering you might be able to do, to available resources, which you can find under the different tabs. If you can’t find the information you’re looking for, phone us on 0800 587 9900, or use the form above and we’ll get back to help clarify anything.