- Am I too old to foster?
- Can I work and still foster?
- I foster for someone else? Can I transfer to ABC?
- How long does it take to become a foster carer?
- Do I have to own my own house?
- Can I choose the age range of the children I foster?
- Do I have to be able to drive?
- How long will the children stay with me?
- How much will I know about the child?
- I have dogs and other pets, will this be a problem?
- I’ve got a criminal record - can I still foster?
- I’ve got a medical condition, can I still foster?
- What about complaints and allegations?
- What about the birth parents?
Am I too old to foster?
There is no upper age limit for fostering. Many people turn to fostering once their own children have left home. On the other hand, some foster carers begin fostering before starting their own families. It's your values and your commitment to children and young people that matters, not your age.Back to top
Can I work and still foster?
Much will depend on how flexible your work is. Many of our foster carers also work. Sometimes fostering can throw up unexpected meetings so we’ll just need to be sure you’ll be able to respond or have people in your network who can assist you with your fostering.
Why not contact us and we can talk this through?Back to top
I foster for someone else? Can I transfer to ABC?
ABC is always happy to accept transfers. Government rules means that this is easy to do. Why not contact us for a confidential, no obligation discussion to see if ABC is the right fostering service for you? There's no need to put up with a fostering service you're not happy with.
To find out more just click on the link below
How long does it take to become a foster carer?
It can take four or five months from the time you contact us to the time you become approved as a foster carer. The process to become a foster carer is set out in the Becoming a Foster Carer section of this website. Don't be put off. It's really not as difficult as you might think - many people say they enjoy the assessment process with our friendly and experienced team! (If you're already approved we can manage this process much more quickly.)Back to top
Do I have to own my own house?
No - you can rent or own a property. All we need to check is that there is a bedroom available for fostering and that, if you rent, you have informed your landlord. Landlords are generally fine with fostering so this shouldn't be a problem.Back to top
Can I choose the age range of the children I foster?
As a foster carer you will have what’s called “matching considerations” setting out the age range you are most interested in fostering. We will discuss this in full with you as part of your assessment process. ABC has developed a careful and unique matching process, helping to provide stability for foster carers and children.Back to top
Do I have to be able to drive?
It is helpful if you can drive because it makes it easier to get to meetings and to help children get to their schools and activities. That said, not all of our foster carers drive. Those that don’t tend to have good support networks and public transport links.Back to top
How long will the children stay with me?
That’s a really hard question to answer. ABC works closely with local authorities to find the right plan for each child. Sometimes that means a child will move on quickly. Other times, the plan can change once the children arrive. Many foster carers can tell stories of ‘short-term placements’ that ended up lasting several years! ABC is committed to finding the right place for the child to belong, no matter where that is.Back to top
How much will I know about the child?
ABC is very unusual in keeping what’s called a duplicate file in each foster home. That means that all the information we have about the foster child in the office is shared in full with you in your home. In other words, we don’t hold any information back from you. What we know, you know.Back to top
I have dogs and other pets, will this be a problem?
We will take this into account when we are looking to consider children for your home. For some children, the unconditional affection that animals offer really helps them to settle. For other children, who may have allergies or medical conditions, we can’t consider them for your home if you have certain types of pets.Back to top
I’ve got a criminal record - can I still foster?
For obvious reasons, if someone has committed any offences against children then they can’t become a foster carer. Other offences will be considered as part of your assessment. Things we take into account include: how long ago the offence happened, the circumstances of the offence, how serious the offence was etc. As with most issues to do with your assessment, a lot will depend upon the specific context. If you’re concerned at this stage, we’re more than happy to talk this through with you in a sensitive and respectful way.Back to top
I’ve got a medical condition, can I still foster?
As part of the assessment process, each foster carer has to have a medical assessment. This is then considered by ABC’s medical advisor, who helps us to decide if there are any health factors that would prevent you fostering. If you are particularly concerned at this point, it might be helpful to arrange for a medical early on in the process so we can work out are if there are any significant issues.Back to top
What about complaints and allegations?
As part of your preparation and training we will talk through with you in detail how best to avoid any allegations or complaints. There are a number of straightforward steps you and your family can take to keep you and the children you foster safe.Back to top
What about the birth parents?
The amount of contact you have with the birth parents will depend on the plan for the child or children you foster. If the plan is for a child to return to their birth mother then you may have quite a bit of contact with them (but we'll always make sure you're supported fully with this). If, on the other hand, the plan is to adopt the child then the contact with birth parents might be very minimal. We’ll go through the legal side of things with you as part of your preparation. We also provide specific training on all aspects of working with birth parents and contact.Back to top