.
.
.

FAQs

answers to common questions

ready to talk about fostering?

talk to us

considering fostering?

If you have any other questions that we haven't answered, contact us and we will answer them for you.

can i foster?

  • am i too old to foster?

    No! Age is just a number when it comes to fostering. We need people who have life experiences that children in your care.

  • can i foster if i have pets?

    Yes. In fact, some young people will be matched with you because you have pets. Animals, particularly cats and dogs, can act as a great ice breaker, especially on that first day when you and the child might be feeling nervous about them being in your home.

  • can i foster if i am single?

    Yes. We have many single Foster Carers who have a solid support network of family and friends who offer practical and emotional support when needed. The Nexus Fostering team is also always available to support you, so you will never feel alone when you foster with us.

  • i rent my home, can i foster?

    Yes. We just need confirmation from the property owner to say that they are happy for you to foster in their property.

  • do i need to be able to drive?

    This depends on the area you live in. If you are in a very rural area this could cause a problem but if you live in a city, driving might not necessity.

  • i have a criminal record, does that stop me from fostering?

    It depends on the criminal record. If it was something like stealing a car and it was some time ago, you could now be an excellent role model. Don’t let a criminal record put you off speaking to us as you may have lots to offer a young person.

  • can i choose the age of the children i foster?

    We prefer Foster Carers to have an open mind about age groups as it gives us the opportunity to offer them the chance to look after a larger number of children. We encourage Foster Carers to focus on the needs of the child, not their age, and then decide if you can help them.

  • do i need a spare bedroom to foster?

    Yes, you need a spare bedroom to foster with Nexus Fostering.

  • can i work and foster?

    This depends on the needs of the child. We prefer there to be a Foster Carer available for the child all of the time. Some young people are not in school, or are on a shortened timetable and cannot be left home alone. You need to be available to take children to school, their appointments and contact visits to see their birth families. You are also required to attend regular training.

    If you cannot give up work completely let us know as some of our Foster Carers work from home or have flexible hours so, it can sometimes work.

  • we are a same-sex couple, can we foster?

    Yes. We need diverse Foster Carers to reflect the diversity of young people coming into care. Sometimes there are young people who cannot be placed with a particular gender so same sex Foster Carers can make a particularly good match.

  • i practice a religion, can i foster?

    Yes, we need foster carers from different backgrounds, cultures and religions to match children with their cultural and religious needs.

  • can i be a part-time foster carer

    Yes, in some areas we have a need for people to foster on a part time basis.

  • what disqualifies you from being a foster parent?

    To foster, you need to have a spare room that will not require them to share with another member of your current household.

     

    You must be able to drive and own your own car (with the exception of central London).

     

    You must not own an animal that could pose a risk to a child or young person. Some animals such as certain breeds of dog are banned within the UK.

     

    You need to have indefinite leave to remain in the UK or be a full-time UK resident.

     

    Must not have any criminal offences against children, sexual offences and certain violent offences on your record.

  • can you be a foster parent if you live in low-income housing?

    Yes, living in low-income housing will be not prohibit you from applying to foster.

fostering

  • how long does it take to become a foster carer?

    The assessment process normally takes between 4-6 months.

  • what happens during the assessment process?

    You will have a dedicated assessor who will visit and support you throughout the process. Various checks including referee, medical and a DBS will be completed and you are required to attend a Skills to Foster training course.

  • how do you match a child or young person with new foster carers?

    We match children carefully with our Foster Carers. During the assessment process, we will build up an understanding of what will work for you and your household which will help us to make good matches.

  • is fostering the same as adoption?

    No. Fostering is a way of offering children a stable family home when their own family is unable to care for them. Fostering is often temporary and Foster Carers do not have parental responsibly for the child they care for, as this lies with the local authority. Adoption is a permanent legal arrangement which results in the adopters having full parental responsibly for the children they have adopted.

  • what happens when we want to go on holiday?

    We encourage you to take your foster child on holiday with you so that they really feel part of the family, but we also understand you might need a break from fostering. You’ll receive 14 days paid respite a year when you foster with Nexus.

  • can i foster more than one child?

    Yes, if you have the space, time and energy to do so. If you have more than one spare bedroom fostering sibling groups could work well for you.

     

  • how much do foster parents get paid?

    The fostering allowance covers you for:

    • Costs that come with looking after a child; including household expenses, food, clothing, pocket money etc.
    • Recompense to you for your time and care; to reward you for providing a caring, stable and nurturing home for a child.

     

    We also offer extra payments for festivities, birthdays and holidays and the option to join our pension scheme!

     

    There are set standards from the government that we follow, regarding the fee paid to our Foster Carers. There are a number of factors involved with the amount of fostering allowance provided, including:

    • Location – where you live geographically
    • Service – which type of fostering you use
    • Age – the age of your foster placement
    • Needs – any specific needs of the foster placement
    • Skills – your skills and experience

     

    When you become a Foster Carer, you will need to register as self-employed and file tax returns. As a Foster Carer, you’ll have different tax rules including:

    • Tax relief for every week you foster a child
    • £10,000 tax-free allowance

  • how do I become a foster parent?

    You will have an initial phone call with one of our team for advice and information. If and when you are ready you will have a dedicated assessor who will visit and support you throughout the process. Various checks including referee, medical and a DBS will be completed and you are required to attend a ‘Skills to Foster’ training course.

     

    The assessment process normally takes between 4-6 months.

  • if i foster does it affect my universal credit?

    When you foster, your fostering allowance isn’t classed as income for the purpose of calculating benefits which include income support, working tax credits, child tax credit, housing benefit, council tax reduction and universal credit.

  • what are the roles and responsibilities of a foster carer?

    Foster care is needed to give vulnerable children and young people a safe, caring home environment whilst they’re unable to live with their birth family.

     

    As well as providing day-to-day care for children and young people, foster carers are expected to speak up on behalf of the child, support their educational, health and social wellbeing, manage sometimes challenging behaviour, keep records, attend meetings and work with the wider team, as well as developing their own skills.

  • do you get pension contributions as a foster carer?

    Paying towards state pension – as a foster carer, you are eligible for National Insurance (NI) credits, which counts towards the basic and additional state pension. You can apply for a NI credit for each week that you are approved as a foster carer.

  • is fostering a full-time job?

    We prefer there to be a Foster Carer available for the child all of the time. Some young people are not in school, or are on a shortened timetable and cannot be left home alone. You need to be available to take children to school, their appointments and contact visits to see their birth families. You are also required to attend regular training.

     

    If you cannot give up work completely let us know as some of our Foster Carers work from home or have flexible hours so, it can sometimes work.

  • what is mother and baby fostering?

    These placements are now more commonly called ‘Parent & Child’ and happen when a concern has been identified by the Local Authority in relation to the parenting, or home environment the child is in.

     

    The parents we work with in these types of placement may not have been parented well themselves, and so don’t have the experience to base their own parenting on.

     

    The parent(s) then come to stay with our Foster Carers where the carers can observe, teach, and guide the parent. Foster Carers provide their observations to social services to inform their decision-making process.

  • do you get paid per family or per child when fostering?

    Generally, the foster allowance is paid based on the number of individual children or young people you are caring for.

  • can a foster child share a room?

    To foster, you need to have a spare room that will not require them to share with another member of your current household. Occasionally sibling placements can share a bedroom but this is assessed on a case by case basis. 

  • what makes a good foster carer?

    To be a good foster parent, you need to be:

    • Prepared to care for young people of all ages

    • Patient

    • Optimistic and enthusiastic

    • Flexible in your approach

    • Enthusiastic to attend relevant training courses and support groups

     

    You should also have:

    • A genuine wish to make a positive difference to a young person’s life

    • A sense of humour

    • Experience caring for children. Although not a requirement, it might be helpful.

nexus fostering

  • why should I choose nexus fostering?

    Nexus Fostering is an Ofsted outstanding rated agency that offers excellent support, training and guidance. We match children carefully to suit the needs of both the children and the Foster Carers. We are immensely proud of the differences our Foster Carers have made to the lives of young people over the last two decades.

  • what areas do nexus fostering cover?

    We have a number of offices across England;  London, Essex, Norfolk, Bedfordshire, Birmingham, Cambridgeshire, Shropshire, Worcestershire and cover the surroundings areas of these locations.

have a question for us?

Fill in the form below and we’ll be in touch to give you more information on fostering.
You’ll be able to ask any questions you have in an open and friendly chat!

We look forward to hearing from you!

call us

0800 389 0143

  • By submitting your data to Nexus Fostering, you agree to the terms outlined in our privacy policy.

receive a free information pack when you join our newsletter