Foster carers provide safe and loving homes for children who can’t live with their birth families at the current time. The children are from a wide variety of backgrounds and all have different reasons for being in care. Sometimes children stay with foster carers for a few days, and some stay for a few years, but the difference a foster carer makes, may last a lifetime.
Our foster carers offer a warm, supportive and firm foundation in, or very close by, to the children’s hometown of Southampton. This ensures that our children and young people stay in familiar surroundings, at their current school and are close to their friends and family, whilst being cared for and nurtured by a foster family who will build their confidence and help them thrive.
Can I foster?
Anyone over the age of 21 can become a foster carer, as long as you meet the basic requirements.
Your sexuality, marital status and education do not determine whether you can be a foster carer.
A spare bedroom SHOW
This is essential as the children you look after will need their own space where they can feel safe and have time alone in your home.
Have childcare experience (professionally or personally) SHOW
Whilst we offer extensive training and support for our foster carers, you will need prior experience looking after children. If you’re unsure whether you have enough experience then please do contact our team for a chat, they can advise and suggest opportunities for you to gain more experience.
These factors are not obstacles to fostering:
Having your own children SHOW
Foster carers have different backgrounds, some have birth children, some have stepchildren and some don’t have children. We welcome applications from people with all types of family background.
If you have children it’s important to consider their thoughts and feelings before deciding to foster.
Marital status and sexuality SHOW
Neither your marital status or sexuality determine your suitability to foster. We have many foster carers who are single and a number of LGBTQ+ foster carers in the city.
<p>Having a disability does not mean that you cannot foster. During the assessment, your overall health and the impact of any disability will be considered, and your social worker will talk about the types of fostering that might be right for you.</p>
If you’re ready to start your fostering journey the first step is to complete our online form. Our team will contact you to chat you through your journey to becoming an approved foster carer. Stage One will include an initial assessment which includes obtaining references, undertaking a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check and Local Authority checks. You’ll also undertake a full medical check, usually with your own GP. This stage generally takes around two months.
In Stage Two an assessing social worker will arrange to meet you and your family in your home to get to know you and understand your capabilities to be a foster carer. They will complete a Form F assessment which is usually completed within four months after which you will go to the Approval Panel.
You will also undertake a ‘Skills to Foster’ training course which will give you practical skills and abilities to successfully foster.
Now you know about the requirements to become a foster carer, why not find out more about the different types of foster care?