Torbay Council

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Foster Care - Frequently Asked Questions

How is Foster Care different from Adoption?

Adoption is where a new family is provided for children who can no longer live with their own family. An adoption order transfers the child's legal relationship from their birth family to the new adoptive family.
Adoption is the best option for a minority of children, with around 4,000 children needing adoptive families each year. However, the vast majority of children in care do not need to move on to a new family, but rather to be given the highest standard of care until they can return to their own family or move on to independence.
If you are interested in adopting a child visit the page for further information.

Do I need to own my own home to apply to become a foster carer?

No.  Foster carers can live in rented or mortgaged accommodation.

Do I need a spare room in my home to foster?

Yes.  All fostered children will need their own bedroom, unless it is appropriate to share a room with a brother or sister.  Foster children may not share a bedroom with any of your own children.
Can I foster when I have my own children living at home?
Yes. As long as you have a spare room and can offer a safe and supportive environment.  Your children will also be spoken to during your assessment and will need to understand and support your plans to foster.

Will I have to give up work to become a foster carer?

As far as possible we will match your availability and lifestyle with the most appropriate type of fostering for you.  For example it is possible to work full-time and provide weekend and holiday respite care for children, but it would not be possible to work full-time and provide a foster placement for children under 5 years of age.  Your assessing Social Worker will discuss with you what kind of fostering is suitable for you and your family.

Can I afford to foster?

You do not need to have a high income or be employed to become a foster carer. You will be given a weekly fostering allowance to cover any additional costs.

Can I apply to foster as a single person?

You do not have to be in a relationship to apply to be a foster carer, we have many successful foster carers who are the only adult in their home.

Are there age restrictions on becoming a foster carer?

There is no age limit, but all potential carers are subject to GP medical checks and Torbay Foster Care Service will consider the particular skills and experience of the individual and the particular fostering task they are being considered for, before making a recommendation.
We will send you further information about fostering in Torbay and ask you some questions about your suitability to foster.
Torbay Council Foster Care Service operates an awareness culture. As applicant we will undertake Criminal Bureau Record checks, request medical information, as well as liaising with other Local Authorities to enquire if there has been previous involvement with Statutory Agencies.

Can I be sure of a non-discriminatory service if I apply to foster with Torbay Foster Care Service?

Torbay Foster Care Service values and promotes diversity and actively welcomes applications from all sections of our community, regardless of sexual orientation, gender, culture, religion or any other irrelevant factor.  What matters is an applicant’s ability to offer a safe and supportive home to a child in need and to work with Torbay Foster Care Service’s policies and procedures.

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