Can I Foster?
We’re sure that’s one of the first questions you ask
yourself. So here’s a checklist of what we consider the
essential requirements to becoming a foster carer.
It’s essential that YOU:
- Like children and young people and enjoy their company
- Can work effectively alongside other people in the child’s
- Don’t have a police record for violence or offences against
- Can understand or a prepared to learn, how children behave when
they’ve been emotionally or physically hurt
- Willing to attend training courses and support groups
- Have room in your home for a child or children
You can foster if:
- You’re single or married.
- You’ve a disability or medical condition (as long as it’s
stable and doesn’t affect your ability to care for a child).
- You’ve children of your own or not.
- You own your own home or not – as long as you have a stable
- You work or not as we have a variety of schemes to suit a wide
range of circumstances.
- You’re retired
- Whether your own childhood was difficult, as long as you’ve
learnt from the experiences.
- Regardless of your ethnic background, we always need carers
from different cultures in order to match children and young people
with suitable families.
Skills and qualities required:
It’s fair to say that many of the children who need fostering
have been through some very traumatic experiences. They may have
some quite challenging behaviour or they might just feel lonely and
afraid. As a foster carer, you’ll provide day to day care for any
child who needs looking after, but it’s much more than that. Your
role will be to support them, help them develop and grow and act on
their behalf when dealing with, for example, educational
There are some key skills or qualities that we look for in our
foster carers and these will probably be quite natural to you, but
if not you’ll soon acquire them with our support. You must be able
to provide a good standard of care for other people’s children,
promoting the healthy growth, development and achievement of the
child. You’ll need the ability to work closely with the child’s
family and those important to the child.
You’ll also need the ability to set appropriate boundaries and
manage a child’s behaviour without resorting to physical or
inappropriate punishment. And you’ll need knowledge of child
development and must be able to listen to and communicate with
children in a manner appropriate to their age and
Ensuring that children are cared for in a home safe from harm
and abuse, you’ll advise the children on how to get help when they
need to. Working with other professionals, you’ll contribute to and
help to implement a care plan for the child. This may include
specific responsibilities e.g. making sure the child is able to
visit her / his family and friends.
You will also need to communicate with a variety of people and
promote equality. Actively encouraging children to learn, you’ll
help them to feel positive about their origins, religion and
Helping children to develop secure attachments with adults is
another essential element of a carer’s role. This involves helping
the child to realise that some adults can provide them with safe
and effective care.
You’ll be able to speak up for the child in order to ensure that
they receive good care and the opportunity to develop. Making the
best use of training opportunities, you should be willing to
develop your skills and appreciate how personal experiences have
affected you and your family as well as how fostering will affect
Working as part of the Cheshire East Council team and with staff
and professionals from many agencies, you’ll work within policy and
guidelines that are in place and ensure that each child fulfils
their potential. You’ll take part in meetings about the child
you’re caring for, keep written records about their care and
contribute to reports about the child, dealing responsibly with
Your strong character must be able to sustain positive
relationships during periods of stress, and you should have links
within the community that will provide you with the support you
need whenever you need it.