— Here is what you need to know...
Why Become a Foster Carer?
Fostering is an opportunity to give something back to the community by providing a safe and nurturing home for children who can’t live with their parents at a point in time.
This is one of the most emotionally rewarding things you can do as you help a child improve their confidence and self-esteem.
There are currently over 80,080 children in care, a number which has steadily increased over the past seven years. Over 72% of looked after children are placed within a family environment, and as a result, the demand for passionate foster carers has never been so great.
You will be given the tools to confidently manage your placements by completing comprehensive training in-house or online.
- Create bonds that will last a lifetime
- Positively impact a child to become confident
- Expand your skills as a parent
- Give a child a chance to be part of a stable family
As a Freedom Foster Carer, you will benefit from:
Here are some of the most common questions asked
Check out our Types of Fostering Placement section of the website.
Our dedicated team, led by highly qualified professionals, has a wealth of experience working with foster carers within central England.
At Freedom Fostering we acknowledge our carers dedicated commitment by offering additional benefits to support you in your role.
Dedicated 24/7 support line.
- Your own Social Worker, who will regularly visit and address any concerns you might have.
- Carer support network.
- In-house family contact rooms.
- Educational support for children out of school with a specifically developed education room.
- A generous financial allowance to help cover the costs of looking after a child.
- School holiday educational support for Maths, English and Science.
- Skills workshops to expose children to experiences that might not otherwise be available.
- Free activity days to attend
Children may be very confused and frightened when they first come to you – especially if their move into care has been a sudden one. It’s important to to take the time to show the child or young person around your home, and explain to them where things are and any routines or rules that you or your family have.
Depending on their age, you may need to explain to them how to go to the bathroom at night, if they need a nightlight, who to ask if they need a drink, rules around mealtime, and about bathing, changing and washing clothes.
Many carers have spare toys, clothes and toiletries in case children or young people have come without their own.
Once your application has been accepted, you will start the preparation and assessment process. This can take about six to eight months, sometimes longer, but we will keep you informed.
During the assessment process, you will attend a series of sessions to learn more about fostering. You will have a chance to hear from experienced foster carers and learn about a range of issues. You will be introduced to the Training, Development and Support Standards (TSDS) for Fostering, which gives you a framework for your ongoing training and professional development.
Alongside the preparation, you will be visited by a social worker at home, usually around eight to ten times. If you have children, they will also want to speak with them. This is how we get to know you and we’ll be able to assess your suitability as a foster carer. It’s also a great opportunity for you to ask questions about what is involved, and with your social worker, you’ll be considered whether you have the necessary skills and strengths.
The assessment will explore your background information, history and individual profiles. The point of this is to build an accurate account of your family and life experiences so far.
As well as other areas, your social worker will take with you about your experience with children and your approach to caring for them. You will need to think about your reasons for wanting to foster.
We pride ourselves in providing in-house training and ongoing support for our foster carers. This enables our foster carers to become well versed in the challenges of fostering and confident in managing children within their care. Our 24-hour support line and dedicated Supervising Social Workers provide our foster carers with a team of professionals around the clock.
Types of Fostering
Foster Care encompasses children with a wide range of needs and from birth up to young adulthood, so there are different types of fostering to suit different children. Some foster carers specialise in fostering particular groups of children, for example, looking after teenagers on remand, or pre-school children, but others combine several types.
The names given to different types of fostering may refer to how long the care lasts, e.g. emergency or short-term, or to things such as the age group of the children and young people, or to their particular needs.
Respite & Holidays
As part of our dedication to our foster carers, we allow respite so that foster carers can take some time out and recoup. We respect their dedication to children and young people in their care.
We are passionate about inclusive foster care and will always encourage our foster carers to take children in their care with them on holiday.
One of the advantages of being a foster carer with us is access to a luxury caravan in Burnham-on-Sea, Somerset.
Our three bedroom Platinum with decking caravan can sleep up to six and offers large amounts of space, modern fixtures and fittings and the most attractive furnishings. It has everything you’ll find in our Prestige option, plus amazing extras like a 40″ flat screen TV and DVD player in the lounge and at least a 22” TV in the main bedroom. You’ll also have the luxury of towels, a full size fridge freezer, allocated parking plus a decking area or veranda with outdoor furniture. As a Platinum with Decking caravan booking, you’ll get priority check in from 1pm on the day you arrive.
Young or old, rain or shine, there’s so much to keep you entertained during your time with us to ensure you have the perfect family holiday.
You’ll never be short of things to keep you busy during your stay. Spend some time in our swimming pool or try some of the exciting activities we have available. The fun doesn’t stop when the sun sets, either, as we’ve got lots of evening entertainment, from bars and restaurants to stage shows, pantomimes and live music.
Best of all, many of our activities are absolutely free, so there’s nothing to stop you from making the very best of your time with us.