Here are some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on fostering.
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Foster caring as a single woman(20 Posts)
HI can anyone advise on if I can foster if I am separated not divorced ?
i would be very surprised if that was a bar to being a foster carer in itself. There would need to be some conditions relating to who was residing in the property and some certainty regarding your security of accomodation but go for it.
You can still foster, we have met quite a few people are single carers.
Hi, I assess foster carers and yes you absolutely can! With any assessment we look at carers support networks to ensure there is sufficient emotional and practical support.
I'm a single woman (divorced) with 3 grown children, and have a panel date in dec, my SW is very positive about my application so yes it can be done 🙂
@brainygaga are there any medical restrictions at all?
Sorry to divert thread @Pammiepeach x
@housemdwaswrong your GP will complete a full medical and this will be sent to an independent medical advisor who will declare you fit to foster (or not). We have lots of foster carers with medical issues, it is the management of the issues and impact on daily life that will inform an assessment. If the issues are in respect of mobility it might be that we look at matching, and not place young children who can be physically tiring.
Thank you. That's useful info, exec though it prob rules me out. :/ worth looking into though still, maybe.
Sorry to jump on this thread, but re:medical issues @Brainygaga I'd appreciate your thoughts
Im at the beginning of the process and have been in touch with a few LAs
For context It is myself, Husband and 2 Daughters (age 4 and 6) at home
I work flexibly 2 nights a week as a Midwife & NICU nurse, Husband works from Home - self employed so also flexible .
We have specified we wish to care for Under 2s due to our own children and my skill set
My Husband has a visual impairment (reduced peripheral vision)
He can't drive, but can do all daily tasks unaided - shopping, walking, school run on foot, cooking etc
As long as he can evidence he is functioning despite the impairment, is it likely we would be rejected on medical grounds?
Hello @waffles1990 - amazing that you are considering fostering! In terms of DH's health, my thoughts would be as an assessor that presumably he plays a big role in the day to day care of your children, and therefore he is already demonstrating that he can meet children's needs - i would obviously be guided by the views of the medical advisor however.
One thing you will need to consider is the driving aspect, very young children often have contact with birth family several times a week, the expectation is on foster carers to transport for the most part. You could probably negotiate this in terms of when you are available to do the driving however, and the LA may be willing to provide some support with this. The same applies with older children and school runs - LA's try and maintain schools where possible which means you may be caring for children who don't go to school locally.
Lastly, certainly have conversations with Local Authorities, different providers etc, i would imagine that you will be advised that 0-2 is very restrictive - you are doing the right thing going down the LA route if you only want to foster younger children but even their approval categories by age tend to be 0-5. They might try and persuade you to be more flexible as they have the most need for foster carers for older children.
Hope all this is helpful, give me a shout if you want any further advice.
@Brainygaga thankyou for getting back to me!
That's great then. I thought/ hoped that would be the case.
We have now chosen a local LA that is right near us (we are on their border) and there is good/ fast access via bus and train for my DH should I not be able to drive (which would happen rarely if ever)
We did say to all LAs about our preference (some guidance even stated it is best if a Foster Child is 2 years younger than a Foster Carers youngest birth child)
The LA we have chosen to register with said they are happy to have us on board for Under 2s for now and as our own children get older, we could consider expanding the age range.
Re: DBS and Police Checks - I am squeaky clean, as is DHs DBS - however, how fat back on the 'police' checks do they go?
DH is mid 30s now, but between 19-21 he had cautions for theft from a friends house (he says he did not do this but thats another matter) never went to court or anything
Also same age had a caution for a drunken fight (He says self defence)
Are incidents like the above, being long ago and not official convictions, likely to show up and influence the decision?
Hi, that’s great that you’ve found an LA you are happy with and in terms of age preference it’s absolutely fine to state what fits best for your family - and again this doesn’t have to be set in stone as the dynamics of your family change.
In respect of DBS they do go right back to cover the whole of adulthood however I don’t think for a second the offences you describe will be a barrier to you fostering - we have many brilliant carers who made mistakes in their youth. We would be concerned about significant violence and obviously offences relating to children but i’m sure your DH will be fine. Make sure you tell your assessor upfront though before the check is returned. Good luck with it all you sound amazing!!
Sorry to also hijack thread - @Brainygaga I had this exact conversation with my mum last night who thinks I should apply (am SEN specialist teacher). I don’t have any family at all and no support network where I live (SE England). I live with my DS10 and work full time. My motivation is the children I work with who are often moved from home to home as they have very challenging needs and I’d like to think I would be a good foster carer for SEN children. Would having absolutely nobody to support me be a complete barrier to doing this?
@BlueBoar hello, you sound to have brilliant experience which would be really valuable in the fostering role - experience of managing challenging behaviours is definitely a plus.
Lack of support network would be a worry - we would be thinking about what would happen in a crisis or if you were to fall ill? On the flip side I would also be looking at the fact that you parent your DC, which givesvyou evidence that it can be managed. It would be unlikely as a single carer that you could work full time alongside fostering. We have had some carers with limited support networks and with those people we have helped them to build a network, maybe by buddying them up with other carers, allocating a support worker to help with practicalities etc. You mention your mum - if she is not close by physically, that emotional support is also deemed very important. I would however, when you are making your enquiries ask specifically about the professional support you provider/LA offers as this can wildly vary and that is very important for you given your circumstances. Good luck with your enquiries and happy to answer any more qu’s 😊
Thank you @Brainygaga! I would be giving up the job to become a foster carer. My mum is in another country, but she has flown over at no notice to help me out when I or DS needed it. Not so easy to do these days.... usually I send DS to his dad if I am ill in the last year but obviously that would not be possible with a foster child. Great advice to ask what support is available from the LA though. Lots of food for thought. Thanks again. Good luck to all thinking of taking this step.
One last worry... they asked if we mind having a credit check. I thought LAs just went through your budget with you?
Would having anything below a "good" score lead us to be rejected, or are they more looking for the reassurance that as long as your budget is solid
(I.e You are on a debt management plan or debt relief order meaning you will not be chased for your debts/ have bailiffs at the door) then you are ok?
Hello, i’ve never done a credit check but we do do a financial assessment backed up by bank statements etc. We have carers who have loans etc and a couple who were on debt consolidation plans, but as long as money is managed and you can demonstrate a reasonable standard of living so that we can be reassured children will be fed, clothed, do activites, have holidays etc then that is fine. Obviously the fostering allowance helps with all those things but it can not be solely relied upon for all household/family expenses. The financial assessment is really to try and ascertain whether applicants are financially motivated. Hope this is helpful to you!
@Brainygaga thanks for getting back to me so quickly.
Do you assess for agencies, LAs or both?
That's good then, I was thinking they'd assume we were irresponsible and therefore not fit to foster.
What are they checking for on bank statements... what direct debits go out, what income goes in?
Our budget is solid now and our birth children are clothed / fed / do activities etc so hopefully that will demonstrate enough that it wont be a barrier
Hi, i’m a Registered Manager for a not for profit agency, i do assessments within that role. My background is LA though so i know of the pros and cons of each.
The bank statements are basically to verify what you tell us in terms of your income and your outgoings - we don’t pore over them or take copies, its just so we can see in general how much comes in a month and how much goes out. We’re not bothered if you occasionally go overdrawn or if there is debt, just that as you say, your budget is solid. Don’t worry too much about it, like i say its more to try and wheedle out those who are primarily financially motivated, you don’t sound like you are in that category 😊
@Brainygaga that makes sense.
I had a debt management plan for 2 years with stepchange, then I looked in to a debt relief order which will be finalised at the end of this month.
It means my £120/month payment for my debt management plan will be stopped and all debts will be wiped to nil after 1 year.
So in terms of budget I am now better off and certainly dont "need" the income of fostering. I just hope my LA see it that way as I really do want to foster!
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