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Considering Fostering (New to mumsnet too)

(14 Posts)
DawnKerry Mon 01-May-17 20:12:33

I am 39 years old, childless, single, live alone, (apart from 2 elderly pug crosses!) I'm not working and not likely to return any time soon as I have some health problems. I'd love to have children but it doesn't look likely to happen. Fostering seems a wonderful way of using those unfulfilled urges for the greater good smile

I've been thinking of fostering for a while but various circumstances put it off. It feels like the right time now. Like I said I do have some health problems but I don't think they would stop me caring for a child, that doesn't need to be carried around, so school age I guess.

I have so many questions about it and googling it just leads me to lots of fostering agencies websites, so I suppose the first logical question is - what is the difference between going through an agency vs the local authority? How do you pick the right agency?

I am currently in receipt of: PIP, ESA (support group), Housing benefit, Council tax benefit. What affect would fostering have on those?

Are you allowed to use a babysitting service? On the rare occasion I'd go out with friends etc I don't really have anyone that I could use other than a paid service.

There are so many more questions but I'll leave it at that for now! Thanks smile

Claram55 Mon 01-May-17 20:19:24

No you're not allowed to use. Baby sitting service but you can have pre approved support or respite
Foster carers.

Your health I think would depend on
Could you meet the needs of a child with any health issues
Alongside of this.

Fostering is very rewarding but we do foster traumatised children who can very very time demanding and challenging.

I am unsure about your benefits as a foster carer you are
Classed as self employed but the allowance is not taxable.

Claram55 Mon 01-May-17 20:22:54

Difference between an agency and la ate firstly when a child goes into care social services try to place with a la
Foster carer.

La carers are paid slightly less but can claim more I believe. They have a supervising social worker but this would generally be someone with a high case load so they are not always available

Agencies I am with fca children are placed where a la either can not place or la carers refuse to place and therefore at times children are more challenging.

Beebeeeight Mon 01-May-17 20:26:32

Approach your local authority first.

They will take you through the long assessment process.

Criteria vary by area but all require you have a bedroom for the child.

If you can take sibling groups/ teenagers/ kids with disabilities they will be very interested in you!

Your health sounds like your main barrier. Older kids require a lot of physical work too.

Can you drive? This is often required because you might have to bring kids to contact several times a week.

They also might go to school some distance from you.

You should also read up on behavioural problems like foetal alcohol syndrome, attachment disorder, ADHD, PDA, sensory processing disorder, oppositional defiance disorder, aspergers/ autism.

DawnKerry Mon 01-May-17 20:39:42

Thank you for your replies. Yes I'll have to find out if my health issues will be a barrier. Some things I've read seem to say disabled people can do it but it's unclear. I have arthritis in my spine and pelvis and a knee replacement. I use a walking aid.

I do drive and I have a big spare room with lovely big bunk beds all ready to go. I know I can't chase or carry so slightly older. I was thinking same sex siblings would be ok as the room is big enough.

Would they consider only placing older, mobile children with me? Or do I have to be open to all?

Beebeeeight Tue 02-May-17 19:41:10

Different LAs have different rules about age ranges.

You will only really know the answer to these questions once you go through the process and medical assessment.?

One thing about bunk beds- you might get a bed wetter so changing sheets every day on bunks is hard!

Alakazam7 Tue 02-May-17 23:03:27

Pm'd you!

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Kidsneedadad Fri 12-May-17 18:44:42

Some mis-information here, as for tax, then depends on personal circumstances, tax allowance are high for carers, so if it's your only employment and you have no more than 3 children for entire year your tax is likely [but not guaranteed] to be zero. As for siblings sharing it depends on age and sex, stricter rules apply for LAC.
Water proof mattress covers are a must unless you like washing.Likewise duvet covers.Age choice is up to you, we only take 2-12years olds. Bare in mind the older the child the more baggage they bring with them.
Age/sex and disability should not be a concern provided you are capable of doing the job.
Car is helpful but not essential.
LA pay less but provide many more children as they avoid the cost of agencies wherever possible.
Training is provided but varies in quantity and quality across the country.
Being self employed as a FC carries all the disadvantages [no employment rights]and non of the advantages [you do not dictate your fee unlike most self employed].

Kidsneedadad Fri 12-May-17 18:45:10

Some mis-information here, as for tax, then depends on personal circumstances, tax allowance are high for carers, so if it's your only employment and you have no more than 3 children for entire year your tax is likely [but not guaranteed] to be zero. As for siblings sharing it depends on age and sex, stricter rules apply for LAC.
Water proof mattress covers are a must unless you like washing.Likewise duvet covers.Age choice is up to you, we only take 2-12years olds. Bare in mind the older the child the more baggage they bring with them.
Age/sex and disability should not be a concern provided you are capable of doing the job.
Car is helpful but not essential.
LA pay less but provide many more children as they avoid the cost of agencies wherever possible.
Training is provided but varies in quantity and quality across the country.
Being self employed as a FC carries all the disadvantages [no employment rights]and non of the advantages [you do not dictate your fee unlike most self employed].

AndNowItIsSeven Fri 12-May-17 18:46:43

My LA allows babysitters to be used.

Kidsneedadad Fri 12-May-17 18:50:35

Some mis-information here, as for tax, then depends on personal circumstances, tax allowance are high for carers, so if it's your only employment and you have no more than 3 children for entire year your tax is likely [but not guaranteed] to be zero. As for siblings sharing it depends on age and sex, stricter rules apply for LAC.
Water proof mattress covers are a must unless you like washing.Likewise duvet covers.Age choice is up to you, we only take 2-12years olds. Bare in mind the older the child the more baggage they bring with them.
Age/sex and disability should not be a concern provided you are capable of doing the job.
Car is helpful but not essential.
LA pay less but provide many more children as they avoid the cost of agencies wherever possible.
Training is provided but varies in quantity and quality across the country.
Being self employed as a FC carries all the disadvantages [no employment rights]and non of the advantages [you do not dictate your fee unlike most self employed].

lifetothefull Thu 18-May-17 22:48:56

You could inquire about becoming a respite carer, and then the drain on your health would not be so full on 24/7. LAs are normally very grateful for people who will take older children or teenagers. Contact your LA and let them talk you through the system and explain different options. You don't have to have everything worked out in order to enquire.

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