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Can I Foster?
You could foster regardless of age, race, income, sexual orientation or home ownership status.

At Sunflower Fostering we will be with you every step of the way. We are committed to developing strong relationships with our foster carers, ensuring that they have everything they need to do the most rewarding job of all. Sunflower Fostering is signed up to the Foster Carer’s Charter, we value and respect the huge commitment foster carer’s make to the lives of children and young people.

There are many myths about fostering, being single, having kids and working….don’t rule yourself out and they are myths not facts

Hopefully the following FAQ’s will offer some answers for you, but most people want to talk about how fostering will affect them so give us a call to arrange an informal chat. Every enquiry about fostering is important to us and we will call you back the same day.

It would be wrong to categorise children and young people into ‘types’. All children and young people are individuals and would therefore have a variety of individual needs. Generally though, children and young people who require foster placements have difficulty with forming relationships and trusting adults. Often they have been let down by adults and believe that all adults are the same. Many children and young people will therefore display complex behaviour but foster carers are not expected to do this alone. Sunflower Fostering has excellent support networks in place and foster carers are trained and supported to manage difficult behaviour. It should be noted that many children and young people who need foster care have suffered some form of abuse or neglect and will need dedicated and nurturing foster carers to help them to move on from these experiences.

It would depend of the nature of the conviction and when it occurred. If you have a conviction you should share this with the agency from the onset to enable us to provide advice.

No, if you rent you can still foster. The agency would discuss this with you during your assessment and ask for evidence of a tenancy agreement. Children and young people that are fostered would need their own bedroom.

Your home environment would be considered during the assessment period, for example a health and safety check would be completed. Home environments need to be safe and welcoming.

This would depend on the type of foster placements you wanted to be approved for. Many of our foster carers do work either part time or casual hours, mainly though we have one main carer and it is their partner/spouse who works full time.

Yes, age group and gender would be discussed with you during the assessment process. During this process we would also discuss the type of placement you can offer depending on your circumstances, for example respite or long term.

Sunflower Fostering firmly believes in treating foster carers as part of the professional team, supporting the children and young people in our care. We therefore include all carers in the planning of placements. A ‘Matching Report’ is completed which provides two sets of details, namely information about the child/young person being fostered and the potential foster carers. We encourage our foster carers to contribute to the form relevant to them and always share the final form with them. For some types of placement, i.e. emergency, having all the information to hand can be difficult due to the speed at which the placement is needed. In these cases Sunflower Fostering will provide additional support and endeavour to obtain all the relevant information within 48 hours.

This will depend on where the child/young person is coming from. If they are already settled at a school most local authorities will look for foster carers who live close enough to ensure that they can retain their places. However, many children and young people have to move schools to ensure they can live with the right foster family. Our partners at Hillcrest College, Shifnal or Hillcrest College Stoke, provide interim school placements/full time placements and support with applications to other schools should this be appropriate. We support children and young people to access education provision up to and over the age of 16 years. It is expected, where appropriate, that fosters carers, acting in a parental role, will take their foster children to school and support the development of independence skills as they get older.

Depending on the information shared, on average the timescales are 3-4 months, following preparation training. Sunflower Fostering’s transfer package enables already approved foster carers a much shortened assessment with a 6-8 week assessment period. Deciding to become a foster carer is a big decision and the assessment process is a two way journey. Sunflower Fostering will ensure you are provided with as much information as possible and will answer all your questions honestly.

No, Sunflower Fostering welcomes all applications regardless of marital status, race, gender etc. If you are in a long term relationship, you will need to apply as a couple. If you are single, Sunflower Fostering will look at your support networks. The same would apply for single parents.

Yes, having your own children does not exclude you from fostering. Sunflower Fostering will take your own children’s needs into consideration and the impact that fostering may have on them. Your children are always considered during the process of matching placements.

Absolutely! You would be part of the professional team at Sunflower Fostering. Training events, support group meetings and social events all help carers to feel part of our team.

Sunflower Fostering does not discriminate on age although your health and well being is taken into consideration during the assessment process.

Of course, Sunflower Fostering does not discriminate based on sexuality and welcomes applicants from anyone interested in making a difference.

Yes, Sunflower Fostering will ask you to provide a number of references on your application form. If you have worked with children or vulnerable adults, paid or voluntary in the past, we will seek references from previous agencies and organisations.

Yes, children will need a bedroom of their own.

Foster carers are well prepared through the assessment process. This doesn’t mean the first few nights won’t be strange, but there will always be someone on the end of the phone. In the initial stages, new foster carers access support systems regularly. However a few months down the line we will be ringing you as carers feel more confident!

Sunflower Fostering provides foster carers with a comprehensive training programme offering mandatory and developmental training. We make training accessible to those who work by running weekends and evening sessions where needed.

For foster carers wanting to use existing skills and experience the agency will support you to become more involved with tasks such as training, running support groups and peer mentoring.

Sunflower Fostering sees fostering as a career and foster carers as professionals. Carers will receive a generous and very competitive skills payment of which there are currently three levels. In addition carers receive a young person’s allowance which increases with the age of the child. Payments are made monthly and carers can claim allowances for using their own vehicle for certain journeys. Carers also receive additional payments towards holidays and for children’s birthdays and significant festivals/celebrations.

Sunflower Fostering works with local authorities to complete ‘Delegated Authority’ providing foster carers with agreed day to day decision making responsibility.