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An Overview of Fostering

If you are reading this information then you or someone close to you are probably interested in becoming a Foster Carer. 


What is Fostering?

Fostering is caring for a child in a family environment whilst their parents are unable to do so.

Foster care provides a stable and safe environment.

Children are placed with carers tailored to their needs in order to help them develop and succeed.

Foster placements can last a few hours, days or many years.

Why are Foster Carers needed?

Children need to be fostered when their birth families are unable to take care of them. Sometimes this will just be for a few days or weeks while a parent is ill or while a difficulty is sorted out. Other children may need to be looked after for a lot longer. For children who have been abused or neglected the Courts will often be involved in deciding what is best for them.

When children are unable to live with their birth families and instead have to live in foster care or children’s homes we call this being “Looked After” by the local authority.

Who can foster a child?

Being a Foster Carer is a very important and skilled task. We don’t expect you to know everything about becoming a Foster Carer right now but you do need to like children, be able to communicate with them and care for them and be willing to learn and develop your skills further.

Is there anything which will automatically exclude me from becoming a Foster Carer?

  • Foster Carers come from many different backgrounds; you may be single, married or living with a partner.
  • We need carers from all ethnic communities so that we can offer care appropriate to children of all ethnic or religious backgrounds.
  • We will consider you regardless of your employment status. If you work this may affect the type of foster care you can best offer a child.
  • You may have your own children or none at all. If you do have children we will talk about how their needs will impact upon the care you can offer, and how you can balance the needs of your own children and the children you foster.
  • The most important things are that you care about children and can work with them, their families and ourselves. Also that you are willing to learn and have the physical space and time in your life.
  • If you do not have a spare bedroom then we would not normally be able to consider you as a Foster Carer, unless you only intend to care for babies who could sleep in a cot in your room.
  • In line with the Government and British Association of Fostering and Adoption guidance we have a policy that precludes anyone who smokes in caring for children under five. All fostering households should be smoke free and we ask carers not to smoke in the car that children will travel in.
  • If you have health problems then we may have to seek medical advice about whether these would affect your ability to care for children.
  • If you have a history of violent behaviour (particularly violence against children), of neglecting or abusing children, or have had children removed from your care then we will obviously have to look very carefully at whether you should become a Foster Carer. Some offences will automatically exclude you. We will look thoroughly at the circumstances surrounding your past behaviour, and may have to gain further evidence from other people. We will discuss our concerns with you and will explain the reasons behind any decisions we make.

What support will you receive?

Tameside has a very well established fostering service with access to a high level of support. All our Foster Carers have a fostering worker who will provide support and guidance through the many situations carers face. As well as workers being available in office hours you will have access to support when the office is closed, should you need this contact Out of Hours.

Tel: 0161 342 2222

The Fostering Team offer many support groups for Foster Carers.

We also have a dedicated team of educational staff (The Virtual School) who help to make sure that children who are looked after get the most out of their education. There is also a Lead Nurse for Looked After Children who ensures that health needs are met.

You will be required to attend a wide range of training in order to develop your skills as a carer. As a Foster Carer you will have access to an extensive support network and any extra support that you may need will be discussed with your fostering worker on a regular basis.

Are you interested in fostering?

If you are interested in applying to become a carer, have any queries or would like more information, don’t hesitate to call the Fostering Front Door. 

Simply call the number below to contact the Fostering Front Door. They will take basic details and pass them onto the Fostering Team who will then arrange a visit to meet you and provide you with more information about the process and how you can progress.

Tel: 0161 342 2342

If you have any other questions you wish to have answered, contact the fostering team.

Tel: 0161 342 4300

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