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Frequently Asked Questions

Can I still go to work and be a foster carer? Why are children and young people fostered? What checks will be carried out? What are the different sorts of fostering? These are all questions that you might want to know before becoming a foster carer. Here are some of the answers – if you can’t find what you are looking for give us a call or email and we will do our best to answer it for you.

What is the difference between fostering with an IFA (independent fostering agency) or with a local authority?

5Fostering is an IFA, working in partnership with the local authorities, to provide fostering placements to our carers. We work with a range of different Local Authorities and offer an intimate service, 24hour support and aim to build a personal, positive relationship with every one of our carers.

Alternatively, to local authorities, IFA’s are able to offer tailored training, be flexible and take on board every carer’s feedback and be pro-active in making any changes that suit and benefit the carer. The financial benefit for those fostering with an IFA also tends to be more generous.

What checks are carried out on me to become a foster carer?

DBS (Disclosure Barring Service) Form F – an assessment form as part of the approval process to discover what sparked your interest towards fostering. References, medical, identity and previous employment checks

What is the allowance for fostering?

You will be given a generous fixed remuneration on a fortnightly basis. The weekly allowance is intended to cover general day to day living costs such as food, clothing, basic travel, household bills, and also social activities and school trips.

The amount you will receive will also cover a reward element for you as a carer, in recognition for the demands of the fostering role. The specific amount will be discussed with you nearer the time, as it will vary depending on the type of placement or whether you foster for short-term, long-term or respite care.

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Will my allowance be taxed?

Our carers work on a‘self employed’ basis and receive very favourable tax treatment on income derived solely from fostering (the pay you will receive as a reward element). Please visit HMRC ( for further information on the ‘Qualifying amount’ tax scheme for fostering.

What is the difference between fostering and adoption?

Fostering is when a child or young person is placed with another family until they are of adult age and able to live independently or return to their birth family. Foster carers are remunerated for the care they provide.

Adoption is different as the ‘parental responsibility’ is completely passed over to the new adopted parent/s. Therefore, the child legally becomes their own and they are not paid to care for that child.

Why are children and young people fostered?

Children and young people need to be fostered; either because their parents feel they are unable to take care of them, or a judge has decided this for them. It can predominantly be one or more of the following reasons; neglect (the most common by far), or abuse that was; emotional, physical or sexual.

What are the children and young people like who come into care?

‘Worried, anxious, sad, angry, confused, lonely, guilty and homesick’ are a few terms which have been attributed to children and young people coming into care. Once they feel settled, safe and supported in a loving and caring family environment, you can become very proud of their incredible progress and achievements throughout their time living with you.

How would fostering affect my family?

As with any new arrival, it is important that all of the family including your own children are happy and comfortable. The aim is for them to relish the idea of a new member and to be one of the greatest helpers in the new fostering setting. There is so much the child or young person will learn from them and they will learn a great deal too.

How much will I know about the child/children before they are placed with me?

We will discuss each child and young person with you in detail and try to provide you with as much information as possible. In cases where a placement may be an emergency situation, the information we gain may be brief, but we will endeavour to give you everything all the information we have.

Can I still go to work and be a foster carer?

Yes. However, it is best that at least one parent is home or available all of the time. This could mean that you work from home and are able to be available at short notice.

What are the different sorts of fostering?

There are lots of different types of fostering from fostering children with disabilities, short term, long term, emergency placements and parent and child arrangements.