Frequently Asked Questions
Here you can find some frequently asked questions. For more information call us on 02380 230400 and ask as many questions as you need to. Please also see Foster Care Myths which may already cover some of your queries.
When adults make a decision to become foster carers they also make the decision for their children to become part of a family that fosters. Fostering is a very significant change in anyone’s life, even more so for the children within the family. Children, even within the same family, will often have very different views about the prospect of becoming a family that fosters, so it is imperative that they are listened to and agree with the decision to foster, should you continue.
Sharing their home with a stranger is a huge issue for birth children and yet foster carers’ children often determine how successful placements are. As with all families, there will be arguments and disagreements, however fostering families also have lots of fun, make positive relationships and collect fond memories. Typically, your children’s privacy may be invaded, belongings may be borrowed without permission, they may even feel that they have had less of your attention because you foster. They also have to cope with the uncertainty of fostering; the child that has come to live with them and has become their friend, may suddenly be able to return home. They will almost certainly miss them….even if the foster child had caused them some troubles.
Birth children will often benefit through getting to know children from very different backgrounds, and many will start to appreciate the advantage they have themselves, of a secure and loving family.
They may also learn more patience, tolerance and understanding of others. Fostering involves everyone in the household and relies on working together within the family, with Fair Ways Foster care team and with other professionals to make it a success.
Our advice is to talk to your birth children regularly throughout the application process, and to make a point of having regular ‘family members only’ time to talk and reflect on how being a foster family could affect you all, and how any difficulties that arise might be addressed. As part of the foster carer assessment process, your social worker will talk with your children on their own, which gives them the best opportunity to say what they really think about the idea of fostering. Our social worker will also try to evaluate how realistic their expectations are and how difficult or easily they might adapt to life within a family that fosters.
Don’t be surprised if children change from being very keen to foster, to hating it, and then back again. Particularly in the early stages when the expectations of the children come up against the realities of the situation. This is fairly typical and our support staff and social worker will help the carers to help their birth child overcome any difficulties.
If you decide to apply to be a foster carer, birth children will have easy access to the family’s Fair Ways Foster Care Supervising Social Worker as well as contact with other young people who foster.
Birth children support groups provide support and the chance to share their experiences by meeting others in similar situations. You should also bear in mind that many children will not want to tell their parents about their problems with fostering, as to do so might be seen by some as letting their parents down. Please make very real efforts to find out how they are feeling and coping with fostering. Above all, keep open communications to prevent any difficulties becoming major obstacles.
Fairways Foster Care is expert in their field. This expertise derives from two of its Directors being approved foster carers themselves! This unique understanding has allowed us to develop an unparalleled support network for our foster carers and the children/young people they care for. Our passion and hands on knowledge continues right throughout our team which supports our carers from the initial enquiry stage onwards in their challenging role. We have our own foster carers, social workers, therapists, support workers, education staff who support the needs of placed children and foster carers within our ethos of Collective Caring. You get supported 24/7 by staff who know you and your placed child.
We fully appreciates the demanding career choice our carers make and reward them with the highest financial remuneration package in the South UK region. Local Authorities or Health Trusts are ultimately responsible for the wellbeing of all children in public care and we work very closely with them to provide the best possible standard of care.
It is imperative that your whole family living with you, especially your children, if you have any, agree and want to foster. This is vital to successful fostering. Much of this will be fully explored and discussed with your social worker during the initial visits, assessment process and training.