Vineyard Fostering

Helpie FAQ

  • Do I need a spare room?
    Yes. Having a spare bedroom, big enough to fit in at least a single bed, a wardrobe or set of drawers, and space to play or do homework, is an important requirement to foster a child. Providing a child or young person their own personal space is essential to their development and offers them a place to relax, play and develop a sense of safety and security. 
  • Is there an age limit?
    Anyone over the age of 21 can apply to be a foster carer. There is also no upper age limit!
  • How will fostering affect my family?
    Fostering can affect every family differently and has a positive impact on many families.  If you have a child, then fostering provides the chance for your child to meet another young person and make a new friend.  It also provides a loving and stable family environment for the child looked after as well as your own family. Perfectly balancing the needs of the foster child with that of your own is vital to create a stable, happy home. If you have any other questions about how fostering can affect your family, please get in touch and our team will be happy to answer your questions
  • Do I need any qualifications and/or experience to foster?
    You do not need any qualification or experience to become a foster carer. At Vineyard, we provide our foster carers with induction training throughout the application process and ongoing training afterwards with excellent support to help you on your fostering journey.
  • Can I work and foster?
    It is not always possible to foster and work a full-time job at the same time. However, there are certain circumstances where it is possible.  For example, a fostering couple may be able to divide roles where one works full time and the other can focus solely on the child’s needs.  As a single foster carer, working full time may be difficult, however, this can depend on the type of fostering you choose to take on. If the child or young person you are responsible for is in need of your care most of your time, working full-time is not recommended as this could take away from the time you should be focusing on supporting their needs and their wellbeing. Working part time, for example, while the child is in school may be better in those circumstances.
  • Do I have to be married to foster?
    No. As long as you can show proof of a liveable income and have enough time to meet the needs of your foster child, it is not necessary to be married or in a civil partnership to foster.
  • Can I foster if I have a criminal record?
    Having a criminal record does not necessarily disqualify you from becoming a foster carer, however, this will depend on the type of conviction and when this occurred. For example, conviction of any of the offences against children or to do with sexual assault of any kind will disqualify an applicant.  All criminal convictions will need to be included in your application to become a foster carer so that the fostering agency can explore these with you and conduct the necessary checks.
  • Can I foster if I have pets?
    Having pets does not stop you from becoming a foster carer and can in fact really help in supporting the child’s wellbeing and overall happiness. However, every pet will need to be assessed during your fostering application to make sure they are suitable to live in the same environment as a child or young person.
  • How can I apply to become a foster carer?
    Please complete our enquiry form. Once we have received your form, we will contact you for an initial chat. This will help to find out if you are ready to foster and whether to send one of our team to your home for an initial home visit which is a great opportunity to meet you and further familiarise ourselves with you. When all this has been done and we have established your suitability and readiness to become a foster carer, we will invite you to complete the fostering application form and start the assessment process.
  • Does it cost me anything?
    No, it does not.
  • How long is the fostering process?
    How long the application process varies from person to person, but the entire process usually takes anywhere between four to six months, in which time we will be keeping in regular contact, and working closely, with you.
  • What training will I receive?
    As a fostering service provider, we ensure that all our foster carers are trained to provide high quality care to enable them to meet the needs of each child and/or young person placed in their care. This will include:
    • Pre-approval training which covers information and skills you need in your fostering journey.
    • Induction training- what you expect to from us and access to support
    • Ongoing face to face and online training such as Attachment and Loss, Safeguarding, First Aid, Safer Caring, Managing Challenging Behaviour and more.
  • What is a fostering panel?
    A fostering panel consists of five to seven individuals with different skills and experiences whose role is to interview fostering applicants and make recommendations of their decision to the fostering agency.  In doing this they will read and review the applicant’s Form F assessment and decide whether to approve or not and on the type of fostering best suited to the applicant. 
  • What is the assessment stage?
    The first part of the assessment stage is where one of our team visit you at your home (or with COVID restrictions via video call) to get to know you and your surroundings, ask you relevant questions and answer your questions.   Once this stage is completed and both parties agree to move onto the next stage, you will be asked to complete our fostering application form after which the ‘Form F’ assessment begins. This involves several visits to your home and attendance at a pre-approval training programme.  During this stage we also carry out some vital checks such as a DBS and local authority checks and obtain professional and personal references.
  • Will I get paid as a foster carer?
    Yes. As a foster carer, you will get a regular fostering allowance in addition to the training and support you will receive from us.
  • Will I be employed or self employed?
    When you become a foster carer, you are self-employed, which means you will need to file your own tax returns and may be entitled to tax relief on your income.
  • Can I claim child benefits for children I am fostering?
    You cannot claim benefits for children that you are fostering because you receive a fostering allowance for each child or young person you care for.