Frequently Asked Questions
- Who can become a carer?
- I'm 56 – am I too old to foster?
- Can I foster if I live in rented
- I'm not married – can I foster?
- Can I foster if I'm in a same sex
- Can I foster if I smoke?
- I have no previous experience of fostering
children – does this matter?
- I'm out of work – can I still
- Can I continue to work outside the
- If I already have children of my own, can
I still foster? Will this be problematic?
- Can I foster if I have a criminal
- What are the main reasons I would not be
able to apply to Worcestershire County Council as a foster
- What if I decide that fostering isn't for
- What type of information will be asked of
me/us during the assessment process?
- How can I get more information on
- I've read the pack and done my
research. What's the next step?
- Is there any reason I may not be
considered for Fostering?
- Q. Who can
become a carer?
A. We are seeking to recruit a range of families to join our pool
of experienced foster carers. We want to make sure that every child
who needs to be placed is suitably matched with a family which can
meet the child's individual needs. It is important for us to
recruit foster carers who have a variety and breadth of knowledge,
skills and experience, which will help them to meet the children's
complex needs. We will work alongside you, preparing and supporting
you to provide what the children need.
People who foster for Worcestershire County Council are all
different – We are looking for people who are:
- Over 21
- Married, single or in a partnership, including a same sex
- Any race or ethnic origin
- In or out of work
- Practising a religion, or not
- Disabled or non-disabled
- Living in their own home or rented accommodation, but must have
a spare bedroom available
- Q. I'm 56 – am
I too old to foster?
A. The youngest age at which you can foster is 21: there is no
upper age limit. However you will need energy and stamina to keep
up with the children or young people placed with you. People of all
ages can, and do successfully foster.
- Q. Can I
foster if I live in rented accommodation?
A. You can foster whether you are renting or own your own home –
just as long as you can provide a secure and stable environment for
a child or children. Each foster child will need their own
bedroom, as it is important for each child to have their own
- Q. I'm not
married – can I foster?
A. Yes - you can foster whether you are married, single, in a civil
partnership, living with a partner or divorced. We do expect that
couples will have spent some time living together if they are going
to foster as a couple. This is because it's important that you
understand each other well, know how you will both cope with
pressures and have worked through the personal issues that come
with sharing your life and home with someone new. We would expect
that you will have lived together for a minimum of 2 years.
- Q. Can I
foster if I'm in a same sex relationship?
A. Yes - Worcestershire County Council needs to attract foster
carers from a wide variety of backgrounds in order to meet the
needs of the children. We encourage all sections of the community
to consider fostering, value diversity and are committed to
equality of opportunity.
- Q. Can I
foster if I smoke?
A. Worcestershire County Council's policy states that children
should not be placed in a smoking household when they are under 5
years old, disabled or suffering from heart disease, glue ear or
respiratory problems such as asthma. Guidelines state that an
individual cannot be classed as a non-smoker until they have been
given-up for a minimum of 12 months. Children older than 5 can be
placed in smoking households, but foster carers are required to
smoke outside only.
- Q. I have no
previous experience of fostering children – does this matter?
A. No previous experience of fostering is necessary but knowledge
and experience of dealing with children or young people is vital.
This experience may have been gained from raising your own
children, or indeed from working with children in an educational or
childcare environment. There is a lot of support and training
available for first time foster carers.
- Q. I'm out of
work – can I still foster?
A. Yes – we welcome people from all backgrounds, regardless of
their employment or financial status.
- Q. Can I
continue to work outside the home?
A. Yes – just as long as you can provide time and space as these
are important to a child, especially when they are young. We would
expect a foster carer to be at home if they care for pre-school
children. A carer would need to be available for school age
children if they were ill and during school holidays. Foster carers
will also need to attend meetings with social workers during normal
- Q. If I
already have children of my own, can I still foster? Will this be
A. We actively encourage people with parenting experience. Your
children will be included in the assessment process, as it is the
whole family who fosters. If your own children are very young then
we may suggest that you should wait until they are a little older
before you start fostering. However we can discuss this in more
detail when you enquire.
- Q. Can I
foster if I have a criminal conviction?
A. People with minor convictions can foster a child or children,
but much depends on the seriousness of the offence, how long ago
the crime was committed and how you have lived your life since.
People with convictions for violent or sexual offences against
children will not be considered as foster carers.
- Q. What are
the main reasons I would not be able to apply to Worcestershire
County Council as a foster carer?
A. There are very few restrictions at the initial enquiry stage,
although reasons may be identified at a later stage once you start
the assessment process. However we would not be able to consider
you for fostering if:
- You are under 21 year of age
- You do not have a spare room in your property
- You, or a member of your household over the age of 18, works
for Worcestershire County Council's Safeguarding & Services to
Children & Young People Service
- You or your partner has a criminal record for a violent or
sexual offence against a child.
- Q. What if I
decide that fostering isn't for me?
A. You can withdraw from the process at any point, should you
decide that fostering isn't for you. You can talk through any
concerns you have with your social worker and they will advise you.
Sometimes you may want to take some time to think things over
before you progress to the next stage. This is fine too and the
whole process can go at a speed that suits you. The assessment
process should be an open and honest discussion, so you should feel
comfortable asking your social worker questions
- Q. What type
of information will be asked of me/us during the assessment
A. A wide range of subjects will be covered during the assessment
process in order for your social worker to gain a complete picture
of you and your family and how you will approach the task of
fostering. These are just some of the topics that will be covered:
Family life, your support network, education and employment,
health, past relationships, parenting capacity, family
- Q. How can I get more information on fostering?
A. You can download a full Fostering Information Pack from the
Documents section on the right of this page. You can also visit
external websites such as The Fostering Network and the British
Association for Adoption & Fostering (BAAF), which will provide
you with general advice about fostering. Our Fostering Advisers can
also be contacted by calling the Freephone No.: 0800 028
- Q. I've read the pack and done my research. What's the next
A. Once you've read the pack and feel your ready to take the next
step you can register your interest either by calling the freephone
No.: 0800 028 2158 or by completing the online enquiry form. Find
out how to do this through the Register
your Interest today.
- Q. Is there any reason I may not be considered for
A. There are no hard and fast rules regarding fostering - our
priority is to ensure that you are able to provide a safe,
secure, supportive and caring environment for our looked after
young people, regardless of your relationship status, ethnicity,
religion, employment status, age, sexual orientation or home-owner
The only three requirements that we have from our foster carers are
- You have a spare bedroom in your home
- You are over 21
- You appreciate that you are committing to fostering full-time,
not just at weekends (it is possible to work part-time - this can
be discussed with the social worker/fostering adviser).
- Adoption UK
Adoption UK is a
national charity run by and for adopters, providing self-help
information, advice, support and training on all aspects of
adoption and adoptive parenting
- British Association for Adoption and
The Homepage for a British charity that supports
children who are adopted or fostered
- Children's Legal
Provide free independent legal advice to children, parents and
- Family Rights Group (FRG)
Provides advice to parents and family members whose children are
involved with or require social care services
- Department of Health
of an organisation that resolves issues to do with health
- The Grandparents'
Supports grandparents who are caring for their grandchildren
on a full-time basis and those who have lost or are losing contact
- Grandparents Plus
Champions the role of grandparents and the wider family in
children's lives, especially when they take on the caring
The Homepage of a
charity who want to safeguard all children
- Family Lives
The Homepage of
a website that helps parents deal with family lives
- Somebody Else's
The Homepage full of information on
privately fostering children
- The Fostering Network
Homepage of the UK's leading charity for foster care
Advocacy organisation for
children living away from home or in need
- Young Minds
organisation that works to improve the emotional wellbeing and
mental health of children and young people and empowering their
parents and carers
We are not responsible for the content of external sites.
This page was last reviewed 22 April 2013 at 15:26.
The page is next due for review 19 October 2014.