Deciding to foster is life-changing so chances are, you will have many questions. Our list of FAQs address the most commonly asked questions we receive.
What checks are carried out?
In order to find out whether fostering is right for you, we’ll carry out a number of checks on you and your home. These include:
Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS – formally CRB) checks – to include everyone in the house over 16
Checks with your local authority
Checks with the education department
Checks with the Independent Safeguarding Authority which lists those prevented from working with children
A standard safeguarding check on your home
We also request references from previous employers, plus two people who have known you for longer than two years.
Who can apply to become a foster carer?
Anyone can apply to foster with us though you do need:
A spare room
To be over 21
A British Citizenship or permanent leave to stay in the UK
Is where I live important?
It is preferable that you live in or near Bridgend County Borough so foster children are not far from their home communities. It also helps them to stay in touch with family and friends and continue to attend the same schools or nurseries. However we will consider an application if you live in a borough close to Bridgend or if you have particular experience in caring for sibling groups, children with disabilities, children with challenging behaviour, or if you want to consider offering a long-term home to a child who needs a permanent family.
I have a dog; would this prevent me from fostering?
Unless you have a dog that is on the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991, there is a good chance you can apply to be a foster carer. However special caution will be exercised when assessing households where there is an Alsatian, Rottweiler, or Doberman.
I am 55 years old. Am I too old to foster?
Absolutely NOT! All we ask is that you are over the age of 21.
Am I too overweight?
There is no weight limit. If your doctor thinks you’re fit enough to foster then so do we.
Can I foster if I smoke?
Some carers smoke, however we do not place children under five in a smoking household.
Can I foster if I’m single?
Yes. We have a mixture of carers. Some carers are single, some are unmarried couples, and others are married – with/without their own children.
Can I foster if I’m in a same-sex relationship?
Can I foster if I have a criminal record?
A criminal conviction won’t always prevent you from being a foster carer – it depends on the nature of the conviction and when it occurred. We carry out police checks as part of our application process.
There is a high chance that minor offences committed some time ago won’t exclude you from fostering, though serious offences like violence or offences against children will.
Can I foster if I don’t drive?
Yes, of course.
Can I work and still foster?
Yes, however if the child is of school age, someone will need to be available to drop off and pick up from school. In addition, if you foster babies, or children of pre-school age, one of you will need to be available on a full time basis.
What age will the children be?
You can foster children of any age between 0-18 years.
Does it cost anything to apply?
No, it is free to apply to be a foster carer.
How long will I have to wait for my first placement?
The time it will take to have your first placement after getting approved, will vary from person to person. You can have placements straight away but we always try to match you with the best possible placement.
Who is responsible for taking foster children to school or doctor appointments?
As a foster carer, you have the responsibility for day-to-day tasks of the children.