Here’s where you can find some of the answers to any niggling fostering questions you might have. Or, if you're welcoming a child or young person into your family, here's an insight into the world of fostering. We’ve put the answers to the most frequently asked questions that our fostered children ask us, so we hope it’s a really useful page for you.
What is fostering?
Fostering is when a fostering family (Foster Carers) look after a child or young person for a period of time when they are unable to live with their own birth family. Foster Carers will make sure their fostered child or young person has the attention and home life they need and deserve during this time and will help them develop as a person.
What will my Foster Carers be like?
Foster Carers come from all types of backgrounds and have all sorts of different homes and lifestyles. They may or may not already have other children/young people living with them – either their own birth children/young people or other children/young people they are fostering.
Will I meet my Foster Carers before the placement starts?
It's not always possible for you to meet your Foster Carers beforehand. However, if we have a little more time to let you get to know your Foster Carers and their home, we will do so.
Will I get pocket money from my Foster Carers?
Yes you will. Affinity Fostering give money to your Foster Carers to help them pay for your care. This includes your own pocket money as well as money to buy you clothes and shoes. We don't tell your Foster Carers how much pocket money they must give you. We think this should be agreed between you, your Foster Carers and your Social Workers.
Often you will find there are differences in spending (particularly on pocket money) for children and young people of different ages – this is not to be unfair, its about the things that each age group have to spend their money on.
Will my placement get reviewed?
Once you are placed with an Affinity foster family, you will have regular meetings between you, your Foster Carers and your Social Worker to make sure your foster placement is going okay and see if there is anything that needs doing to make it better. There will be a placement meeting in the first week, to see if you are settling down and have everything you need.
Your first review will be within 28 days of you first moving in with your Foster Carers. You will then have another review every 3 months until you have been there for 7 months. If you are still with your Foster Carers after 7 months, then your reviews will take place once every 6 months.
Can I have contact with my friends and family?The Children's Services Department is legally bound to encourage you to have contact with your family and friends (except in some very specific circumstances, and they have to go to Court if they want to change this). There is a law in place to make sure they do (Children Act 1989). It doesn't matter if you are being looked after by a Foster Carer with your family's consent or if the Courts have made it happen.
Once it has been agreed who you can have contact with, your Social Worker will talk to you about this.