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All about fostering and how to contact the team

Find out about fostering, who can become a foster carer, how you can apply, the support you receive and where you can get more information.

What is fostering?

Sometimes children are unable to live with their own family. This may be due to a crisis in the family, ill health, relationship difficulty or bereavement. It could also be because they have experienced abuse and need to be protected.

When a family has problems, our children’s services are committed to working with the parent or parents to make the home a safe place for the children. Whilst this is taking place we need to place the child in a family situation where they will feel secure and cared for. That’s where foster carers come in, looking after these children in their own homes, allowing time for difficulties to be sorted out. The time children stay may vary from:

  • day care or overnight stays
  • regular planned weekends or holiday stays 
  • weeks, months or years.

Why foster for East Riding of Yorkshire Council?

If you are considering fostering, you may be thinking about whether to foster with East Riding of Yorkshire Council or whether to choose an Independent Fostering Agency (IFA). You may already foster with an IFA and wonder what you will gain from transferring.

We are very proud of our foster carers and the incredible work they do for our looked after children. We want to create the very best experiences, support and training so they in turn can provide the most loving, stable and supportive homes for our children and we will endeavour to make fostering the most fulfilling and rewarding experience you have ever had.

Our in-house carers are our priority

All the referrals for children coming into care come to us first as a local authority, and as a general rule, we will place children with our in-house carers first. This means that by fostering with us you are unlikely to be waiting long for a placement. If we feel we can’t provide a suitable in-house match, only then will we consult outside agencies.

Not for profit

IFAs are run for profit by private equity investors, but as a local authority, we are not-for-profit; meaning that above all else, it’s the children who benefit from what we do.

Don’t just take it from us!

See what our foster carer’s say...

In a recent survey, 100% of East Riding foster carers said they would recommend fostering for East Riding of Yorkshire Council:

Lynette says:

"We wanted to help children and families who were going through difficult times and we had the room in our hearts and in our home as a family. It’s been a joy to be part of the ‘happy ever after’ whatever that means for the individual child."

Alison says:

"I find the training invaluable, gaining not only an insight into children, but also people in general and I have gained a much deeper appreciation of why people behave the way they do. It has been a journey of discovery that I have enjoyed travelling down."

Chris says:

"Fostering for the East Riding feels like being part of a huge family. We get to meet up at events and at training. There’s always someone at the other end of the phone."

Paul says:

"Fostering changed my life, truly; the children have given as much back to me as I’ve given them. I can’t imagine being without children in my home and I am proud to be able to provide for their needs."  

See what Ofsted says...

Ofsted is the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills. They report directly to Parliament and are independent and impartial. 

OFSTED inspect and regulate services which care for children and young people including fostering agencies. 

Our fostering service is rated 'good' - take a look at the report for an impartial look at our service:

Ofsted report for fostering (pdf 119kb opens in new window)

Whether you are a prospective carer thinking about applying to foster, or an experienced carer wanting to transfer, we’d love for you to become part of East Riding fostering.

How will you support me as a foster carer?

There are many reasons why people to choose to foster with East Riding of Yorkshire Council including:

Support

We offer comprehensive support including your own dedicated social worker to offer you practical and emotional support when you need it.

Training

We provide excellent high quality free training ensuring you have all the tools you need to meet the demands of the fostering task fully.

Generous allowances

We provide a generous allowance to support the children whilst in the care of the foster family and provide additional payments as you progress through training. In addition, we pay a yearly loyalty bonus of £410 and additional teenager allowances of £54.47 per week.

For example, as a new foster carer looking after a 13 year old, you would receive £193.25 per week per child, plus an additional teenage allowance of £54.47. In addition, as you progress through training there are additional allowances available up to £105.68 per child per week. View a detailed breakdown of fostering payments.

Events

The team organises regular free social events including Christmas parties, theme park visits and summer events. There are also local support groups available for foster carers to attend.

Help for your own children to adjust to fostering

Being part of a family that fosters can be really fun and rewarding but sometimes it can be a challenge and hard to share mum or dad. The fostering team provides an optional children's training course called 'Skills to foster' which is available during the application process. 

Can I foster?

There is no 'ideal' type of foster carer, everyone is unique and brings their own individual experience and abilities. The most important attributes are having time  patience, a sense of humour and the ability to love . Feeling comfortable with children is key and social and family life should be fun, supportive and include ground rules.

Even though you don’t need to have your own children, you:

  • Need to be over 21 (those under 25 should have some appropriate life experience)
  • Must have an understanding of children
  • Must have a flexible approach
  • Must have a spare room which can be made pleasant for a child or young person
  • Should have a home which is clean and comfortable
  • Access to a vehicle or good public transport links
  • Should have a good network of people around you to provide encouragement and support
  • Must ensure your partner (if you have one) or other people in your household, are on board

You can be:

  • A couple with a family
  • A couple without a family
  • Single
  • Heterosexual
  • Lesbian or gay
  • Retired
  • An unmarried couple
  • A couple in a civil partnership
  • Living in rented accommodation or a home owner

The decision to become a foster carer is not one to be taken lightly, the work although rewarding can also be demanding. More than any other experience in your life, becoming a foster carer will bring enormous changes for both you and your family.

All sorts of needs have to be taken into consideration when a foster child lives with you, such as:

  • Stability
  • Security
  • A nurturing environment
  • Contact with the birth family

Most people are suitable to foster and we recognise that families come in all shapes and sizes.

How do I apply to become a foster carer?

Stage One

Step 1 – receive your fostering information pack

Our fostering pack includes a letter, brochure, dvd, fostering rates of pay, a 'registration of interest' form and an event flyer. There are two ways to receive your fostering information pack:

Step 2 – send back your ‘registration of interest’ form

If you’ve read the pack and you’re still interested in becoming a foster carer for us, simply return the registration of interest form which is included in your information pack.

Step 3 – we’ll give you a call

A member of the fostering team will telephone you to discuss initial questions or queries from yourself and make an initial assessment on the suitability of your enquiry.

Step 4 – we’ll come and visit you at home

An initial home visit will be carried out by one of our care co-ordinators. This will be at your home and we'll begin to get to know you and the sort of foster care you could potentially provide. 

Step 5 – we’ll invite you to attend a course

We'll invite you to attend one of our ‘Skills to Foster’ courses which we run five or six times a year. All applicants need to attend as part of their assessment and this will help you decide if fostering is right for you and your family. There is also an opportunity for your children to be involved and attend our one day children’s skills course to learn more about fostering.    

Step 6 – we’ll carry out checks and reference checks 

  • Local authority checks and references 
  • A free medical check with a doctor  
  • DBS checks (Disclosure and Barring Service), to check for criminal convictions 
  • Two personal reference from family or friends  

Stage two 

The second stage includes more detailed information on you and your family including your:

  • skills
  • competence
  • lifestyle
  • potential to care for a child placed with you effectively.

This information is compiled into a report called a ‘BAAF (British Association for Adoption and Fostering) Form F’ which will be used to determine your suitability for fostering. 

A fostering social worker will come and visit you and your family regularly, and you will work together to complete this report. The discussions you have will be based around the tasks involved in fostering such as, caring for children in a family setting, providing a safe and caring environment, and working as part of a team. 

This stage also includes undertaking a risk assessment of your home and health and safety checks to ensure your home is a safe environment; for example, we look at any potential hazards such as areas of open water or ponds.

What happens next?

When stages one and two are complete your social worker will submit this report to the fostering panel who will decide whether or not you’re suitable to become a foster carer. If all’s gone well then you’ll soon be welcoming a child, or children, into your home.

How long will it take to become a foster carer?

We aim to complete your assessment within four months. This may seem like a long time but we need to make sure that fostering is right for you and your family. It is important that you have all the information you need to begin to foster.

What training do you provide?

Recognising that fostering is very much a career, every foster carer will receive training, both before and after they are approved as a foster carer. Our ‘Skills To Foster’ training provides foster carers with an insight into the role of foster carer.

All foster carers are expected to undertake a minimum of training to ensure they are able to foster confidently. The training is held frequently and is very accessible. Additional training is offered to support foster carers’ development and skills. There are also opportunities to specialise in particular areas of interest.

What support is available to fostered children?

Every child is different but they all have one thing in common, they are going through an unsettled period and are trying to cope with lots of changes in their lives. In addition to the support from their foster carer and their own social worker there is a range of services available for them through the children’s participation and rights team>.

Where can I receive more information about fostering?

Further information is available on the following websites:

British Association of Fostering and Adoption (BAAF) (external website)

The Fostering Network (external website)

You can also take a look at our fostering brochure, which comes with the information pack:

Fostering brochure (pdf 20mb opens in new window)

Are you currently fostering and looking to transfer?

If you are an approved foster carer who has moved to the area, or are thinking of fostering for your local authority rather than your current agency, we would love to hear from you.  The assessment process will be a little easier if you are transferring. You can expect a visit from a social worker and we will work with you to complete an update to your last Form F assessment.  If you already have a child in placement, we will work with you to ensure this is not affected. We will also do our best to offer a competitive fostering allowance.

Please telephone us to discuss your current situation on (01482) 396469.

How can I contact the fostering team?

Online: Send us a general enquiry 

By email: fish@eastriding.gov.uk 

By phone: (01482) 396469

By post:

East Riding of Yorkshire Council Fostering Team 
Room BF64 
County Hall 
Beverley 
HU17 9BA

Why should I consider disability fostering?

We aspire that all children should be cared for with families rather than in a residential setting and we are interested to hear from people who feel they could offer the time and care for children with a wide range of additional needs including physical disabilities, learning disabilities, ADHD, Autism and special health needs. This could be either on a long term basis where you offer a full time commitment or as a short break carer which could include weekends, mid-week breaks or school holidays.

We will provide you with bespoke training, any specialist equipment you need and your own dedicated social worker who will visit regularly and offer emotional support and practical guidance. You are not required to have qualifications but should have some related experience or genuine interest in caring for and wanting to enrich the lives of disabled children. Being a disability foster carer is a specialised area of fostering, but the skills and experience you gain will be invaluable.