Tuesday 22nd October 2019
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Common questions and concerns

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Father and son

Many people have the same questions and concerns about fostering. Find the answers to some of the most common here.

I am not sure I have enough time to be a foster carer

Being a foster carer is varied and at times demanding.

You will need to look at how you will manage any other commitments, eg working while being a foster carer.

Providing stability for the child in your care is key and you will be expected to provide the majority of care.

To help you, we have a number of different types of fostering:

  • General foster carers: foster full time and can opt for short- or long-term placements
  • Respite carers: provide short-term cover, eg overnight stays, weekend cover and/or holiday periods
  • Connected persons fostering: involves family or friends looking after a child

Your social worker will discuss with you what flexibility you have with your time.

I am worried about the experience of fostering itself

We do recognise that the experience of fostering can appear daunting, particularly in the early stages.

We take you through the process step-by-step. We take the time to get to know you and your family; to deal sensitively with your questions and provide you with initial training, enabling you to make informed decisions about becoming a foster carer.

Once approved as a foster carer, we continue to support you with training, supervision and a number of support groups. If you do decide that fostering is not right for you we will understand, but naturally we will do all we can to support you and your family.

What if the fostered child’s family wants to make contact?

Contact with families and friends for the child in care plays an important part in maintaining relationships. It is an emotional experience for the child and sometimes a challenging one. Contact can happen through visits or at our family centres.

Contact and all contact arrangements with the fostered child’s family will be done through a social worker. Sometimes the frequency of visits will be dictated by the courts.

We do have a legal duty to promote positive contact with birth families and we provide training and support to help you manage understand and manage this.

I am worried about not being approved

Our aim is to help you towards a successful application within a reasonable time frame.

Becoming a foster is a big decision one that affects not only you but your family and friends too.

We do consider your family history sympathetically but we need to be confident that children placed in your care will be safe and well looked after.

We will be open about the reasons for not pursuing an application. In some instances this may mean gaining additional experience and coming back to us at a later time.

We do hope that you will feel comfortable to discuss any initial concerns that you may have with us.

What types of children need fostering?

The children will be local to Luton ranging from 0 to 18 years of age and from the diverse backgrounds and cultures. We therefore need foster carers from diverse backgrounds and cultures, able to meet the needs of the children in care.

These children can be from family breakdown or crisis or victims of neglect or abuse. All need safe, loving homes.

We particularly need foster carers willing and able to support:

  • sibling groups
  • long-term placements
  • teenagers
  • children with specific needs medical or a disability

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