Fostering FAQs

Let us answer your fostering questions

About fostering

Got a question about fostering? Check out our most frequently asked questions below.

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What is a foster carer?

A foster carer is a person who provides care for a child or young person in their home when they are unable to live with their family. 

Are there different types of fostering?

Long term fostering
This is a planned placement that occurs when children are unable to live with their family for a number of years or until they reach adulthood. This could mean that a child will come and stay with you until they reach 18 years of age.

Short term fostering
This is short term or possibly a temporary placement that occurs whilst the local authority are confirming plans for a child’s future. The time span for a short term placement can be 12 months or may be longer.

Respite or Short Breaks
This is a temporary placement where children are looked after by other foster carers or their parent/s to give their full-time foster carers or parent/s a break. The time span for respite or short break fostering can be from a weekend to 1 or 2 weeks.

Can babies be fostered?

Yes, they can and although we do receive referrals for babies from local authorities, the volume of referrals for babies is not as high as it is for children of other ages. As an agency, we would advise that you do not limit your fostering preference to solely babies.

If you would like to discuss this further, please contact us on the live chat below.

Can I provide foster care at weekends and in school holidays?

If you have a full time job but would still like to provide foster care, you can become a foster carer who provides respite care. At Credo Care, respite foster care is a planned event that can take place at weekends or in school holidays, and often reoccurs. Read more about the different types of fostering

How long will it take for me to become a foster carer?

From the moment you enquire with us, the process of becoming a foster carer can take between four and six months.

Our aim is to successfully find a safe and loving home for the most vulnerable children and young people and for this reason the length of assessment can vary. We consider the safety and welfare of the children and young people in our care to be of the highest priority, which is why we want our foster carers to fully prepared, equipped and confident as they embark on their fostering journey.

If you would like more information on this, please chat with us below.

Can I Foster?

Got a question about if you can foster? Check out our most frequently asked questions below.

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Do I need a spare room to foster?

Yes, having a spare room is an essential requirement to foster. When fostering a child or young person, it is important that they have their own space.

Can I work full time and foster?

Due to the demands of fostering, it is usual for one foster carer to be at home on either a full time basis, or to maintain a flexible job that allows them to be available to meet the needs of the child or young person in their care.

Can I foster if I am part of the LGBT+ community?

Absolutely, your gender and sexual identity does not negatively impact your ability to provide a child or young person with a safe and loving environment.

Am I too old to foster?

There is no upper age limit, however, you must be over 21 years of age to start your fostering journey. You will need to show that you are fit and healthy enough to meet the needs of the child or young person in your care. During the assessment process you will be medically assessed to check that you are fit and healthy.

I have a criminal record, can I foster?

If you have a criminal record, we would advise disclosing this as early as possible when enquiring about fostering. We do request a DBS check during the assessment process, which will highlight any offences.

Having a criminal record does not necessarily preclude you from fostering, however, there are many elements to consider such as the type of offence, length of time since the offence and the circumstances to name a few.

If you would like to discuss this further, chat with us below.

Can I foster if I smoke or vape?
Firstly, we would encourage all individuals wanting to foster to stop smoking or vaping, however, it would not preclude you from being considered. There are certain restrictions surrounding placing a child or young person in a household with a smoker or vaper. This would be discussed further at enquiry stage.
Do I have to own my house?

No, you do not need to own your home. Many foster carers rent their home, however, you must get your landlord’s written permission.

Can I be single and foster?

Yes, you can be single and foster. When fostering, it is really important to have a support network, so we’ll ask you about your friends and family.

Can I have pets and foster?

Yes, you can foster when you have pets. We know pets can be a great asset to a foster family. Your pets will be included in the assessment process.

Can I foster if I do not drive?

If yourself or your partner do not drive, it’s likely to be more difficult for you to become a foster carer with us due to the demands of fostering. As a foster carer, you will also need to attend training, appointments and meetings. Likewise, when a child or young person is placed with you, it is likely that they will need to attend school and other appointments.

Do I have a choice about who I foster?

When you foster with Credo Care, the choice about who you foster is yours. We get to know you, and so when we contact you about placing a child or young person in your home and with your family, it is because you have been selected as a good match. This would only happen if we believe that you can fully meet the needs of the child or young person.

Fostering Allowances

Got a question about our fostering allowances? Check out our most frequently asked questions below.

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As a foster carer, you will receive payment and expenses when you care for a child or young person. These payments make up your fostering allowance and are there to support you and the child or young person you are caring for.
What is a fostering allowance made of up?

As a foster carer, you will receive payment and expenses when you care for a child or young person. These payments make up your fostering allowance and are there to support you and the child or young person you are caring for.

As a full time foster carer, how much will I be paid?

At Credo Care, our fostering allowances per child or young person start from £538-£630 per week. The allowance amount depends on how long you have been approved as a foster carer and if you have completed any fostering related qualifications such as The Training Support and Development Standards or a Diploma in Foster Care.

What can I use the fostering allowance for?

Out of your fostering allowance, £290 is for the child or young person and should be used for replacement clothing, pocket money, local travel costs, activities, birthday and festival presents and normal home expenses.

As a foster carer, how often will I be paid?

At Credo Care, we pay our foster carers once a fortnight when they have a child or young person with them.

Will I be taxed on my allowance?

Income from fostering is taxable, however, there are specialist tax rules that mean you can earn up to a certain amount tax-free.

Application Process

Got a question about the fostering application process? Check out our most frequently asked questions below.

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How do I apply to be a foster carer with Credo Care?

To apply to become a foster carer with Credo Care you will need to:

1. Enquire
You can do this via our enquiry form, live chat with us below, call us on 03301 235 530 or send us an email to interest@credocare.co.uk. Once we have received your enquiry, we will send you our free electronic information guide. This should answer any initial questions you may have about fostering with Credo Care.

2. Telephone call
Once you’ve had the opportunity to read through our free information guide, we’ll give you a call to answer any questions you may have about fostering and the children or young people we work with. We’ll talk you through the support we offer. If you’re happy to move forward, we will ask you some questions in the form of a screening call.

3. Home visit
After your successful screening call, a member of our team will visit you at home. This gives us the opportunity to get to know each other further. These visits can last for up to 2 hours. If you are in a couple, we would hope to meet you both at the initial visit. This is an amazing opportunity for you to decide whether fostering is right for you and your family.

4. Application to foster
Following a successful home visit, you will be asked to complete an application form. After your application form has been considered and approved, you will be allocated an independent assessing social worker, who will start your fostering assessment. The fostering assessment will generally take 6 months.

What costs are involved to apply to become a foster carer?
There are no costs involved in applying to becoming a foster carer.
How long will the assessment process take?
It generally takes around 6 months to complete your fostering assessment. However, these timescales can vary depending on your personal circumstances and availability for the social work visits.

Fostering With Credo Care

Got a question about fostering with Credo Care? Check out our most frequently asked questions below.

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What training will I receive if I foster with Credo Care?

As a foster carer with Credo Care, you will receive essential foster carer training and child specific training on an ongoing basis. This is delivered through a mixture of face to face and online learning methods.

We also have a Behaviour and Autism Specialist, who is available to provide support and guidance throughout your fostering journey.

Will I have a holiday allowance when I foster with Credo Care?

At Credo Care, we refer to this as respite. At Credo Care, we have respite carers who can provide for respite care for the children and young people in your care. Our fostering families can have up to 21 nights respite per year.

What support will I receive from Credo Care?

When you start your fostering journey with Credo Care you become part of our community, meaning we will be there with you and for you at every step. We will provide you with specialist training and guidance during your fostering assessment and once you have been approved as a foster carer with us.

Once you are an approved foster carer with us, you will receive support for up to 5 hours per week in term time and 10 hours per week in the school holidays from our dedicated support workers. We also have our own respite carers who will be able to care for the child or young person in your care for up to 21 nights per year.

Will I meet other Credo Care foster carers?

Yes, you will. We have regular support groups where you will have the opportunity to meet with other carers in and around your area. As well as this, we hold regular children’s parties in the summer and at Christmas. On starting you will be allocated another foster carer to be your mentor for 6 months.

If I am a foster carer with Credo Care, will I be employed?
As a foster carer, you will not be employed. This means you will be classed as self-employed and so you’ll need to register as self-employed with HMRC and submit a self-assessment tax return. This sounds a lot more complicated than it is. We have a finance department who can provide guidance on this if required.

Transferring To Credo Care

Got a question about transferring to Credo Care? Check out our most frequently asked questions below.

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Can I transfer to Credo Care from another fostering agency or Local Authority?

There are many reasons why as an approved foster carer you may be considering leaving your current foster agency or local authority.

As an approved foster carer, you are entitled to transfer to another agency and we use the Fostering Network’s transfer protocol. Foster carers can only be approved with one agency or local authority at a time. At Credo Care, we work with you and your current agency or local authority to make sure everyone understands what will happen and that any children or young people placed with you are fully supported throughout the transfer process.

If you are considering leaving your current provider, we would be happy to hear from you and explain what makes Credo Care different from other fostering agencies or local authorities.

How do I transfer to Credo Care?
Transferring to Credo Care may be easier than you think. Initially, we’d need to speak with you to understand whether you have children or young people in your care currently or not as the process varies slightly.
How long will it take for me to transfer?
Our aim is to make the transfer as smooth as possible for you and any children or young people in your care. It is possible for an assessment to be completed within 3 to 4 months, however, this can vary.
Am I able to transfer with my current placement?

In order to transfer to Credo Care with a child or young person in place, a protocol meeting is required. This meeting would include ourselves, the local authority responsible for the child or young person and your current fostering agency to ensure everyone is in agreement.

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