Common questions about fostering


What is the difference between fostering and adoption?

Fostering is the placement of a child with a carer on a non permanent basis. The child remains the responsibility of Brent and the birth parents.

If you adopt a child, the courts give you full parental responsibility of the child by law and that child becomes your child permanently.

Do I have to be married?

The simple answer is no. You can be married, single or in a same sex relationship or civil partnership.

Do I have to own a big house?

No. You could be living in privately rented accommodation or you could be a council tenant and you can be living in a house or a flat. A baby from 0 to 2 years can stay in a cot in your bedroom. However if the child is not a baby, they will need their own bedroom on the same floor as yours.
 
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Do I have to live in Brent?

No. We will consider your application if you live in any of the London Boroughs within the M25 and any other boroughs that border the M25. You would need to be in a location that would give you relatively easy access to Brent Council offices for the occasional meeting. 

Can I work whilst fostering?

Yes. But your working situation must allow you to be available for the needs of the child. Maybe taking the child to and from school, attending meetings with teachers, visits to the doctor, all of the things any parent would have to do as part of a daily routine when bringing up a child.

Will I get paid for looking after a child?

Yes. To ensure you have the resources to foster we pay generous allowances. Our current rates (from April 2018) are between £165.55 to £367.65 per child per week, depending on age of child and experience of the carer.  

Will I get any support and training?

You will receive information from the fostering recruitment and assessment team when you first contact them, followed by training and support in preparation for fostering should you decide to go ahead. Once a child is placed with you this support and training will continue for both you and the child. You will not be left to feel that you are on your own.

 
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I've got children of my own; can I still foster?

Yes. You can have children of your own and we will appreciate any relevant childcare experience that you may have. When placing a child we will take the ages of your own children into account. 

What types of fostering are there?

Brent offers three types of fostering opportunities.

  • Short term - caring for a child for periods ranging from potentially a few days, to up to two years.
  • Long term - A longer term arrangement that could last until the child is 18 or is ready to live independently. The foster carer should expect to form a strong relationship with the child.
  • All Options foster care - You need to be available to receive a child at any time on a 24/7 basis, in a short term arrangement (up to six weeks) until a longer term placement is found.

What is the process for becoming a foster carer?

If it is agreed that fostering is right for you, we will arrange for an initial visit to take place in your home. During this visit, the social worker will explain the full process, answer any questions in greater detail and confirm that you are suitable.
 
The next stage will be the assessment process, which includes between six and twelve sessions with a social worker and preparation training.

At the end of the assessment you will need to attend a panel where it will be confirmed whether you are suitable to be a foster carer or not.

How does welfare reform affect foster carers?

The Government has reconsidered proposals which would have penalised foster carers claiming housing benefit in privately rented and social housing property from April 2013.

Under the new proposals, foster carers will be allowed an additional room, whether a child has been placed with them or not.

This covers in-between placements and those that have become approved foster carer in the last 12 months.

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