Adoption means taking a child into your home permanently and legally as part of your family but fostering usually means offering a temporary home to children until they either return to the family home or move on to live with a relative, adopter or long-term foster carer. There are many similarities between adoption and long term fostering. In both cases you will look after a child as if they were your own son or daughter. The differences are mainly to do with the legal status of the child.
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 about how they might feel about sharing your time with other children. Ask how they might feel about sharing space in the house and possibly toys as well. We’ll need to assess your partner as well as you. You will also need to consider your wider family, will they be around to help you? Will they babysit? Will they include your foster children in outings and parties etc?.
You will receive a weekly payment for each child in your care. This varies according to the age of the child or young person in your care and is intended to cover the costs of food or clothing, household items, personal care, pocket money and travel costs. These benefits do not usually affect any benefit you receive or tax you pay. Looking after a sibling group of children offers an increased payment. You can find out more in the payments, support and training section here. Or call us on 01902 551133 .
Few foster carers would claim to start out with all the abilities they need. Our preparation course equips you with an understanding of the required skills to foster and you can continue to receive training throughout the time you foster.
You will not be asked to look after a child without first being given all available information about the child’s history and behaviour. You will have every opportunity to discuss any doubts you have with your fostering Social Worker and the child’s Social Worker.
Most children benefit from contact with their parents or other family members and this is organised by the child’s Social Worker. Contact is usually supervised by specialist workers and you will be required to transport your child to and from face to face contact arrangements.
Again, you will learn to cope as you go on. There will be times when you will be upset, perhaps when a child you have become fond of moves on. Your fostering Social Worker and other foster carers will help support you, but remember there will be plenty of times when fostering is fun and personally rewarding.
Unless you opt for long term fostering, you will have to let them go. In exceptional cases a child may live with short term carers for several years but the aim is always to secure a permanent home for a child.
Every attempt is made to match the racial, language, cultural, dietary and religious needs of a child with a suitable carer. When this isn’t possible you may be asked to foster a child from a different background to your own.
Children placed long term may transfer to a school within your community. Children placed short term may continue going to their regular school with their friends. The child’s individual circumstances will be taken into account when deciding what schooling is best for them.
We try to get a balanced picture of where people are now in their lives. Minor offences committed some time ago needn’t exclude you from fostering, although serious offences like violence or offences against children will. Talk in confidence to a representative from Fostering for Wolverhampton if you have concerns about this.
Anything else you need to know, contact us today or call us on 01902 551133.