I'm interested in fostering. I'm single, live alone and have two spare bedrooms.
I have calculated that in order to have the same amount of money as my current salary I would need to foster two children. I've always wanted to foster sibling groups so I'm fine with this however will my LA approve me for two children or more? Do some LA ease people in slowly with just one child?
Also is it ok to apply and then once approved quit my job? As I obviously need an income during the application process.
They could approve you for siblings but it is risky to give your job up. There will be times with no children placed with you and times with only one, so the income cannot be depended on. I have not got personal experience but my friend couldn't get JSA as she wasn't available for work and she didn't get help with her mortgage or anything when she didn't have a child placed with her and she lost her job in the first place because of all the time she kept missing because the child she cared for was excluded from school and other dramas.
We had to prove that we were financially independent and would not 'need' the fostering allowance to support us, as it was seen to support the child. Our 'salary' part of the allowance is less than £100 a week! We only get the allowance when we have a child with us, so we have to be able to support ourselves when we are without placement.
Hi I'm single, have 2 spare bedroom and am approved for 2 children, 3 if siblings (one room has bunkbeds) I have been fostering for a year and a half, in that time I've had placements 70% of the time, currently got 2 brothers on short term (so could be here up to 2 years). I have not given up work, but did go down to 2 days a week (my employers were very understanding).
SS are very good at arranging meetings etc on my non work days, so are the boys school. There are meetings to attend and I'm lucky that my placements are good attenders, although i've had time off work when they've been ill.
It is really hard decision (whether to give up work or not). I saved up 6 months of mortgage/bills money before I was approved, so i knew if i didnt get a placement i'd be ok for a while. But i did have to wait 4 months for my current placement, so was very glad i had part time work. Thats not to say i wasnt offered placements but i felt they werent suitable. If you are willing to take 'any' placement you might be ok, but if you want a specific age or siblings etc you might have to learn to say no to some and wait. e.g. my placements had to be school aged and had to have transport for the school run (I foster for a LA). I do find it tiring working, having the boys, doing paperwork, training, meetings, keeping on top of the house/shopping etc. The first month or two are the hardest, it gets better once you get into a routine tho.
Hi, I'm single too and foster for my LA. They were adamant that I give up work - but I'm a baby carer (although by "baby" they mean under 5!) so that's understandable.
I started by being approved for 1 child, 2 if sibs, but was quickly reap proved to care for 2 non related children - and have had 3 on occasion when LA struggling. I find its the running around, meetings, appointments, extra contact and extra parents that are difficult when you have more than one placement rather than the children themselves.
Yes it's tough financially, especially when I only have one placement - my LA pay around £120 per week. I do claim income support though which enables me to continue doing the job! I also get some (but only small) help with my mortgage from housing benefit - if you rent you get the whole of your rent covered i think. Roshbegosh is correct that you have to claim JSA instead when you have no placement, but it's not that hard to switch - just a PITA! Think this is changing too when Universal Credit is introduced.
I didn't hand my notice in at work until I was approved, it takes a long time! I did tell work I was applying though, they were incredibly supportive.