Fostering as a profession?

Could you be a foster carer?

There is an urgent need for foster carers in the North.

Foster carers have a vital role to play in giving children and young people the best possible start in life and there are many opportunities for a whole range of carers that reflect the diversity of the children and young people who need foster care.

You may wish to look after children for short periods of time or you may prefer to care for a young person until they reach the stage in their life when they can become independent. You may wish to care for younger children or may have the skills and experience to care for teenagers.

Many people do not come forward to foster as they believe they are not eligible, however the National Fostering Agency welcomes applications from all walks of life. You may be married, live as a couple, or be single or divorced. You may be employed, unemployed or retired. You may be a home owner or a tenant. Applications are welcomed from all ethnic backgrounds and religions.

Many prospective applicants are worried about the process, however it is important for applicants to know that support is available throughout the whole process. Free training is available before applicants begin the assessment, which is part of the process of becoming a foster carer and usually takes about 3 months to complete.

Once you become a foster carer, ongoing support is available from qualified and highly experienced staff 24 hours per day, therefore you are never alone. In addition, further training is provided in order that foster carers gain valuable skills, knowledge and experience.

Benefits of being a foster carer include:

  • Generous weekly allowance
  • Summer Holiday & Loyalty Payments
  • Continuous training
  • 24/7 support from qualified, professional social work staff
  • Monthly support group meetings

Being a foster carer is a challenging profession but if people feel they have the skills, patience and space to look after a child, then please click on the link below to be taken through to the National Fostering Agency website.