When children and young people cannot be looked after by their own families, the local authority with fostering agencies work together to support and provide them with suitable foster carers to look after them. Foster carers will go through an assessment process, carry out trainings and be supported, as well as receiving fostering allowance. The child or young person gets placed short term or long term with foster carers in their home. The length of their stay depends on what type of placement 

Independent fostering agencies work with the local authority to support the need for foster carers in the UK and help children and young people in care. We have a strong relationship with the local authorities with the needs of foster children at our heart. We have a huge passion for providing the very best fostering service to our fostering families. Ultimately, it’s an approach that’s producing some outstanding outcomes for the children and young people in our care. As an Independent Fostering agency we provide many benefits, which include:

  • Training – it’s likely that there will be more training and skill enhancement opportunities available to develop your skills as a foster carer.
  • Allowance – typically, fostering agencies often offer a larger fostering allowance than local authorities do.
  • Support – due to the wider resources of an agency, you’re likely to experience a deeper level of support for fostering queries and advice.

Yes, as long as your work is flexible to take into accounts that your priority is Fostering, just as you would consider your own children’s needs first. If you are fostering as a couple, we believe that at least one Foster Parent should be at home on a full time or part time basis to foster. This is to make sure that each child in your care is looked after the best way possible. If you are a single carer, you may work full time, as long as your work is flexible so that you can work around fostering. You would need to be able to attend training courses, supervision groups and other meetings. We believe it is important that Foster Carers are given financial payments to cover the cost of caring, thus enabling them to commit to fostering full time.

Yes, a foster child will each need their own bedroom. Technically, babies and toddlers under the age of two years can sleep in the same bedroom as their main carer. However, for practical reasons, Caring Hearts Fostering requires all our foster carers to have a spare bedroom available for a foster child, regardless of their age.

Before being approved as a foster carer, we will agree on the types of children who would fit best with your family or skillset. Throughout your assessment process, we will work together to identify your strengths and figure out where your hard work would be most helpful. If you are interested in looking after children who have specific needs (complex or enhanced), we can train you up on the appropriate skills. Click here to see what training we provide.

Pets don’t present problems when fostering. In fact, they can have a positive influence on children and young people. Some carers live on a farm and have a range of animals, some have horses and some have smaller animals such as hamsters. As long as there is no risk either from the pet to a child then there is no issue with having pets.  

If you have a dangerous animal, Caring Hearts Fostering will need to know how you would keep a child safe from your pet. Applications looking to become a foster carer will not be considered if they own any breed of dog that is registered or required to be registered under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991/1997, such as:

  • Pit Bull Terriers
  • Japanese Tosa
  • Dogo Argentines
  • Fila Brazillieros

Being LGBTQ+ is not a barrier to stop you from being a foster carer. You don’t need to be heterosexual or as a married couple to be eligible to foster. What matters is your ability to provide a stable, safe, loving environment for children and young people. We welcome everyone from different community. Click here to find out if you can start your fostering journey.

Getting benefits depend on your own individual circumstances. Therefore, we would not be able to give a yes or no answer. However, if you are currently on benefits from a local council, paid foster work shouldn’t affect your benefits. Benefits such as, Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support, Universal Credits, paid foster work could affect this. The best way to find out where you stand is to contact your local Jobcentre Plus and discuss your situation with them. Alternatively, seek specialist advice from Citizen’s Advice Bureau. 

Foster parents are paid, roughly around £400 – £750 per week per child depending on the placement. They usually pay none (or hardly any) tax on their foster care allowance due to Qualifying Care Relief. Additionally, you might be eligible to claim Working Tax Credit or other benefits. 

In most cases not. Income tax exemption on foster care pay is called Qualifying Care Relief and means you don’t need to pay tax on the first £10,000 your household makes in any. Foster care pay is subject to additional tax relief of up to £250 a week for every week a child is in your care.

Yes, the UK government requires that foster carers pay self-employed National Insurance contributions. You must register as self-employed when you become a foster carer. At Caring Hearts Fostering we will provide you with professional individuals who can help you with this.