Introduction

Our priority is to place our foster children in safe, nurturing and stable homes.

We welcome people from all walks of life to foster with us. Age, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion or disability have no impact on your ability to provide a caring and supportive home for children.

What do you need?

You can foster with us if you…

  • have a spare room which is warm and welcoming for a child or young person
  • are at least 21 years of age
  • have the time and energy to commit to fostering
  • have good communication skills
  • have access to transport
  • ensure other people in your household are on board
  • are a full-time UK resident.

These criteria are essential to becoming a foster carer with East Riding Fostering, and will help you decide if you might be suitable.

You can also foster with us if…

  • you’re not in a relationship
  • you aren’t a parent (we give you lots of support and training)
  • you don’t have any specific qualifications or experience in childcare
  • you don’t own your own home
  • you don’t live in the East Riding, as long as you live close enough to access support
  • you have pets!

Skills and qualities

To become a foster carer, you don’t need any special qualifications, but it does help to have certain strengths and skills such as:

Empathy

You will have a nurturing and empathetic approach, being able to understand and relate to a child or young person who may have experienced trauma. Be accepting of differences and the possess the ability to see everyone as an individual.

Resilience

You might meet some children who may have challenging behaviour because of their life experiences. You will need to be firm, know how to set ground rules and have flexibility with these.

Good communication skills

You will need to communicate regularly with different people and professionals involved in the young person’s care network.

Stability and consistency

You will be able to provide a stable and nurturing environment where children feel safe and supported.

Flexibility

You will be someone who enjoys variety and has a flexible approach to life.

Dedication and passion

You will have a genuine desire to make a positive difference in the lives of children and help them reach their full potential.

Does this sound like you?

Get in touch with us today for an informal chat.

Commonly asked questions

Take a look at some questions we often get asked about fostering:

Still not sure?

Not sure if your personal circumstances would allow you to foster? Get in touch with our friendly team for an informal chat.

Your assessment will focus on your suitability to provide a safe standard of care to a child or young person.

Make the first step...

Got a specific question, or just want an informal chat? Send us your details and our friendly fostering team will be in touch…

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Do I have the skills needed to foster?

Very few carers start out with all of the skills required for the job. Our training programme will help equip you with what you need, when you need it. You don’t need any formal qualifications and there is no upper age limit. You may be married, single, with or without children, living together, separated, divorced or widowed. However, what you must have is the drive, enthusiasm and endless energy to make sure children excel.

Read more about the training provided to our foster carers

Will fostering be emotionally challenging?

You’ll learn to cope with most situations as you go along. There will be upsetting times - perhaps when the child eventually moves on - but you’ll get plenty of support. There will also be many times when fostering is great fun and personally rewarding.

Read more about the support we offer our foster carers

Will I be supported to cope with a child whose behaviour is challenging?

Some children’s behaviour can be confusing and difficult to manage. Our network of professionals will offer support and work alongside you to achieve positive change. You will be amazed at what you can manage, and your training will prepare you for most situations. Remember, you’ll never be on your own - there is a network of fellow carers who will be happy to help, and you will always be able to discuss any worries you may have.

Read more about how you will be supported as a foster carer

Is my home suitable?

The most important ingredient in fostering is you - not the size of your home or whether you own or rent it. The child will need a safe and welcoming environment with their own room.

What affect will fostering have on my own family?

Fostering will affect everyone involved - both inside and outside the home. Talking about fostering to the whole family will help you to understand their feelings about sharing time, space, and even toys. Having a strong support network will be helpful.

How much will I know about the child or young person before they are placed with me?

We believe it's essential for foster carers to be provided with as much information as possible about a child prior to placement, and we will share everything that we know about them with you. However, it's not possible to know everything about a child's background and how their experiences might have affected them, or what it is like to live with them. In addition to gathering all available information before your first meeting, we will also provide training to to equip you with the right knowledge to keep everyone safe and support the child effectively, despite any gaps in information

Read more about training for foster carers

I am already a foster carer, can I move agencies?

As an existing foster carer, we try to make things as quick and easy as possible for you to transfer over to us. If you are looking to change from your current agency or local authority, the first thing to do is to get in touch with us and we’ll arrange to visit you at home to have a chat about what’s involved.

Can I still go out to work if I become a foster carer?

Fostering does not necessarily require foster carers to be at home full-time, as different children will have different needs. The important thing is that you can be flexible to meet those needs during times such as school holidays, and that you are able attend meetings. The fostering payments we provide may give you the flexibility to look at how you manage your working hours. Do not rule yourself out because you work.

My son who lives with us smokes; will this affect our application?

If anyone in your house smokes or vapes, you cannot be considered to foster children under five years of age. Foster carers who smoke occasionally should always smoke outdoors. If you are in the process of quitting, you will need to consult your GP and provide evidence that you have given up smoking for at least six months prior to your application.

Can my own children share a bedroom so that our family can foster?

We would not consider it appropriate for your own children to begin sharing a bedroom to allow you the space to foster. If they are already sharing a bedroom, we would need to discuss this with you further before you could be approved for fostering.

Who is responsible for taking a foster child to and from school?

As the foster carer, you will be responsible for taking the child or children to and from school. If you have your own children, you should consider how you will manage different school pick up and drop off times.

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