Fostering FAQs

We know becoming a foster is an important decision, so we've put together some frequently asked questions below. We also regularly hold online and in-person Q&A sessions where you can speak to our team and hear from one of our foster carers. Alternatively, visit our Contact Us page page to get in touch.

About you

How old do I need to be to foster?

Foster carers need to be 21 or older. There is no upper age limit - you just need to have enough energy and enthusiasm to keep up with the child in your care! 

Can I foster if I already have children? Or if I don't have children?

Absolutely! We have worked with lots of foster carers who already have children. Some of those children are still living at home, whilst others decide to take on fostering once their own children have grown up.

You are welcome to foster if you have no children of your own too.

Does it matter if I'm single, married, divorced or in a relationship?

Your relationship status has no impact on whether you can foster. The only thing we ask from all our fostering applicants is that you are able to demonstrate you have a good support network around you. This will be part of your assessment where we look at friends and family.  

Can I foster if I’m a solo parent?

Of course! As long as you meet the requirements your relationship or parental status will not be considered a deciding factor of whether you can foster or not.  

 

Can I have pets and foster?

Yes, in fact, pets can be beneficial to many children. Any pets in the home will be looked at as part of your assessment to ensure they would respond safely to children. 

Being a foster carer

Can I carry on working?

Fostering is a full-time job, and we find that continuing to work alongside your role as a foster carer can be difficult, however we do have some carers who work too if it's flexible.

You will need to be available for meetings, appointments and sometimes training during the day.

In a two-person fostering household, often one is a full-time foster carer. 

You will be paid for fostering, and as part of your decision to become a foster carer we would ask you to consider whether this role can work for you financially. 

Do I get paid for fostering?

Our children are at the centre of everything we do. We understand the importance of a competitive financial package so that you can focus on providing them with a loving, stable home.

On average when you have a child in your care a foster carer will be paid a fostering allowance in the region of £600 per week (around £31,000 a year) plus some travelling expenses.

We also recognise the growing experience and commitment of our foster carers over time so we offer extra financial rewards for long service.

Our Support foster carers are paid according to the time they provide care.

Do I need a spare room?

Yes, the child in your care will need their own room. 

What happens about holidays?

Normally we would expect foster carers to take the child they are caring for with them on holiday, just like in any good family. 

We recognise that short breaks can be beneficial for foster families, however, so all Break foster carers will have a support care plan. This could include the child having overnight stays with a matched Break Support Foster Carer but this will depend on their needs.  

What happens when the child reaches 18?

Once the young person you are caring for reaches 18, legally they are considered an adult and are no long supported by the care system. Break recognise this is a sensitive time and have built innovative services around this.

As the young person approaches this age, we will work together with them, their social worker and you to explore options.  

If you would like the child to remain living with you post 18 then they can do so under a 'Staying Put' arrangement. You will no longer be in a foster care role for this child, but the LA will continue to fund you at a different rate so the young person can continue living with you.

Alternatively, if the child wishes to move on at 18, or you are not in a position to be able to offer Staying Put, Break have a service called Stay Close, Stay Connected. It provides a safe home and a Break Transition Worker to support them in the next stage of their life, along with opportunities in many areas of their life. They can also access Break's Emotional Well-being service.

Each family is unique so we will work together to find the best option for the young person. 

Any young person in Break's services benefits from our lifelong offer. It's our promise that no matter how old they may be, we are always here for them to turn to, like any good family should. 

I think I’m interested in finding out more, what’s next?

Brilliant! We’re really pleased you’re interested in fostering with Break. The next step is to either get in touch with our fostering team by emailing fostering@break-charity.org, phoning at 01603 971293 or filling out the contact form here.  

Or you can book onto a Q&A Session. We have options to attend in person or online.  

We know fostering is an important decision so there is no pressure. In an initial chat we’ll talk through any questions you have about fostering and how we work at Break to see if fostering is the right fit for you. 

Support

What support do Break offer Foster carers?

When you join Break you become part of our fostering family. Together with other Foster carers, we’ll work with you to add to your therapeutic parenting tools. 

You can also expect: 

  • Monthly supervision with your supervising social worker, with additional support from them when you need it. 
  • Where needed, you'll be matched with a Break Support Foster Carer to allow you and the child time away from each other, where they’re still cared for in a loving, supportive environment that meets their needs. 
  • Joint supervisions alongside your Support Foster Carer to ensure a joined-up approach. 
  • A support group alongside fellow foster carers at Break 
  • A ‘buddy’ system for new foster carers to help you settle into the team. 
  • Involvement in the Service Development Group sitting alongside Break’s senior leadership, and Break fostering staff. 
  • Access to a therapeutic practitioner as needed.
  • Activity days for children, carers and the fostering team. 
  • Ongoing unique tailored training alongside a personal development plan, including access to the National Association of Therapeutic Parenting website. 
  • We offer a group for children of foster carers to spend time together in a creative and supportive space. 
  • Financial reward for long-service.
What is a Support Foster Carer?

We know how important both support and rest is. A Support foster carer is there to help our foster families need a short break.

A Support foster carer is carefully matched with a foster family and will care for the child for a short period. This might mean that for one weekend a month, the child will stay with them. Our foster families liken this to an aunt or grandparent role. You can find out more about being a Support Foster Carer here.  

What is the application process for a Support Foster Carer?

All Support Foster Carers will go through the same rapproval process as our full-time foster carers.  

You can read more about the process here. 

Are Support Foster Carers paid?

Yes, just like full-time foster carers you are remunerated for your role and this will be paid on a session by session basis.   

Transferring to Break

Why do people transfer to a new fostering agency?

This could be for a whole host of reasons.

Perhaps you feel you aren’t getting enough support from your current agency, that you’ve become more experienced and are more certain about what you want your fostering experience to look like, or that you’re disappointed with the benefits that you’re receiving.

You may feel that the lifelong offer of support to children fostered by Break would secure the best future for the child or children currently in your care. 

Will my current fostering placement breakdown if I move?

If you are currently caring for a child, the transfer process will carefully consider the wellbeing of the child, usually transferring them with you to Break.

For us, the child's needs are most important thing.

You can have a confidential discussion with us about this. 

Will I get paid the same amount?

We will discuss payment during the transfer process and where possible we will match the rate you are currently receiving. If you have any questions then please do get in touch.

What training and support will we receive from Break?

You’ll have the same training and support as all our fostering families coming into our Break fostering family as new foster carers, nd more. You can find out more about this here.  

I'm thinking of transferring, what should I do next?

Please contact us for a confidential discussion by either calling our friendly team on 01603 971293, emailing fostering@break-charity.org or filling in the contact form here. 

 

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Parent and child fostering

How long is a parent and child foster placement?

The length of a placement can vary but typically may last between 3 and 6 months. Each person's circumstances are different, but the likely duration will be set out in the initial care plan. 

What is the role of a Parent and child foster carer?

You will provide a safe and supportive environment for both the parent and the child. You'll offer guidance, support and supervision to the parent, helping them develop parenting skills and address any issues that may have led to the need for the arrangement. 

Additionally, you will ensure the well-being and safety of the child while facilitating bonding and attachment between the child and parent. You may also provide practical assistance and access to resources to help the parent meet their and their child's needs.  

What training is available for me?

We will help to prepare you for what to expect and you will be provided with training in attachment and trauma as well as in child development. You will be supported throughout to consider any challenges that may arise and any training need will be met to ensure you feel well-equipped to offer the support required.  

Our team are there to walk alongside you for support.

What happens if I have concerns about the safety of a parent and child?

If you have any concerns on the safety of your parent and child, you can share this with your supervising social worker who will guide you, as well as support with any actions which may need to be taken. You will not feel alone in carrying any worries, there will always be someone available to discuss any concerns you may have and help determine the appropriate course of action.   

Do I get paid as a parent and child foster carer?

Absolutely! Parent and child placement are paid at a rate of no less than £660/week. 

What happens to the parent and child after the placement?

After being with you, the outcomes for the parent and child can vary depending on the circumstances and goals of the placement. This decision will be made by the court, informed by the child's social worker and other professionals involved in their care. It will include your observations from their time with you. Possible outcomes are:  

Reunification: If the parent demonstrates their ability to provide a safe and stable environment for the child, reunification may be an option they will return to living together.

Adoption: If it is determined that it is not in the best interests of the child to stay with their parent, the child may be adopted. 

Guardianship or kinship care: If the parent is unable safely care for the child may be placed with a relative or connected relative of family friend, which allows the child to maintain a safe relationship with their birth parent.  

Long-term fostering: In some cases, the child may be placed in foster care ahead of adoption or guardianship/kinship or into long-term foster care. 

Read our fostering brochure

In our free brochure you will find information on:

  • Break's Fostering team
  • The requirements of fostering
  • The support you will receive as a Break foster carer
  • The unique training available
  • Frequently asked questions and more.

Please fill in your details to be directed to the helpful brochure.

Tick here if you would like a member of the team to contact you for an informal chat and answer any questions regarding fostering with Break.

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