Kids and councelors at a summer camp.

About fostering

Fostering for the first time can be very daunting and at New Chapters Fostercare, our experienced carers provide part of the support network, which is so important in ensuring stable and secure homes for the most vulnerable of children.

Foster carers look after children who are unable to live with their birth family for some reason, most commonly because it would be unsafe or place a child at risk of significant harm if they remained living with their birth family. Some children stay in foster care for a long time, often several years, but others may return to their birth family after a few weeks or months.

Our Services

New Chapters Fostercare approves carers to look after children from birth to eighteen years of age and beyond. We provide safe, stable and nurturing foster placements and can develop flexible packages of support to meet the assessed needs of looked after children.

What we provide

The range of placements offered includes the following:

  • Emergency Placements
  • Respite Placements
  • Short Term Placements
  • Shared Care
  • Medium Term Placements
  • Bridging Placements
  • Long Term Placements
  • Sibling Group Placements
  • Parent and Child Placements
  • Children with Disabilities Placements
  • Solo Placements
  • Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Young People Placements

All requests for placements follow a matching process to make sure the competencies and knowledge of our foster carers meet the needs of each child placed. All placements are discussed with the placing local authority and individual placement contracts are agreed. Placement plans are completed for each child, which cover aspects such as essential information, the child’s care plans and delegation of authority. Pre-placement preparation will take place whenever possible and risk assessments and safe caring processes are completed prior to placement. We ensure foster homes adhere to the health and safety requirements.

Who can foster?

At New Chapters Fostercare we welcome prospective foster carers from all walks of life.

Our foster carers are from various backgrounds, nationalities, religions and ages. And whether you are single or married, male or female, a homeowner or renting, straight, lesbian, gay, trans or bisexual, it doesn’t matter. We believe you can be a foster carer and so should you.

You do, however, need to meet a few minimum criteria to be considered. You must:

  • be over the age of 21
  • have a spare room at home: this could be a spare bedroom, or a room you’re not currently using as a bedroom, such as a study.

If you decide to apply to become a foster carer, we will also consider:

  • Your health – as part of the fostering process, your medical health will be checked. Not all disabilities or medical conditions will stop you from fostering.
  • If you have children – we will discuss with you how you’ll meet the needs of a foster child as well as your existing children.
  • If you have a partner – your relationship will be assessed to make sure a child will be placed in a stable home.
  • If you smoke – it is unlikely that a young child will be placed in a home where there are smokers due to the significant health risks of smoking and passive smoking.
  • Your criminal record – as part of the fostering process we will do a police check. Not all criminal convictions will stop you from fostering, but people with a history of sexual offences and/or cruelty to children will not be considered.
  • Your finances – you will receive a fostering allowance. This will cover food, clothing, travel expenses, household expenses and gifts. As a carer you will also receive a professional fee from New Chapters.

Your journey in becoming a foster carer

Step 1 – Initial enquiry

Contact us by using the online enquiry form or by phoning or emailing our office. One of our team at New Chapters Fostercare will be able to answer any questions you might have. You may also want to speak to one of our experienced foster carers at this stage.

Step 2 – Home visit

One of our supervising social workers will come to your home at a time to suit you and your family.  We can explore in more detail why you’d like to become a foster carer and also the skills and personal qualities you can bring to the role.

At this time we will ask you to complete an application form.

Step 3 – Assessment

We will arrange for an Independent Social Worker to meet with you regularly over a number of weeks. The assessment process usually takes between eight to ten visits to complete and the Independent Social Worker will gather a full understanding of your attitudes and abilities, your previous and current experiences, relationships and how you cope with difficult situations.

A critical element of the assessment process is determining how well you and your family will be able to adapt to and manage the impact of fostering.

We also carry out standard, mandatory checks, as outlined within the regulations.

To help you prepare to become a foster carer you will attend a pre-approval training course, which will provide you with basic skills and information. This is also an opportunity to meet other people who are also going through the fostering process.

Step 4 – Approval

Our fostering panel consists of experienced people, from a range of professions that work, or have worked, with vulnerable children. Your assessment report will be passed on to them for consideration. Together with your assessing social worker you will be invited to attend the fostering panel.

The fostering panel will make a recommendation to New Chapters Fostercare about whether they think you are suitable to become a foster carer.

Step 5 – Placement

Once approved, a supervising social worker will be appointed to support and guide you through the fostering placement process. Our aim will be to find a fostering placement that is a right match for you and your family.