Frequently Asked Questions

We’ve put together the answers to some of the most common questions potential foster carers ask us.

If you can’t find the answer you’re looking for or you prefer to talk to us, we’ll be happy to help. Please give us a call on 01252 411107 or email us at fostering@stepbystep.org.uk.

You need to be over 21 but there is no upper age limit.

To foster, you must be a UK citizen or have right to remain. If you are waiting for a visa, you can still get in touch to learn more about fostering with us.

You don’t need to own your own home, however you do need a spare room. If you rent, you will need your landlord’s permission.

Yes, you can work and foster. Remember that fostering is a busy role whatever age the child or young person. Older children and young people will need taking to and from school or college, to friends and to clubs. Young children will need round the clock care. You will also have meetings and training around being a foster carer. You need to see if your lifestyle is flexible to fit around looking after a foster child.

We understand that some people still need to work so there are different types of fostering that can suit your lifestyle.

However, fostering is a paid role.

It would be helpful, but it is not essential. Foster carers come from all backgrounds and not everyone has experience of working in childcare. We will work with you to help you and offer the training and support you need to prepare for your fostering journey.

You do not have to be well off to foster children. Fostering is an amazing and rewarding thing to do for children and young people, but it is not charity work.

As an approved foster carer, you would receive a fostering allowance. This covers the extra household and general costs of having a child or young person living with you, and any additional expenses involved in their care. It also rewards your work as a professional foster carer.

Foster carers get tax relief on the allowance they get from fostering, and their benefits will usually not be affected.

The application process can take anywhere between three weeks and six months depending on your circumstances.

Whether your children are still at home or have grown up and moved out, you can foster. Your children are a vital part of the fostering family and should be included in your journey to foster. If you have you own children who still live at home with you, they will be able to join in with support groups for them with other foster siblings.

When it comes to fostering there is no set fee. The amount of money you will receive depends on a range of factors, including the agency you choose, how many children you foster, the child or young person’s individual needs and requirement, the type of fostering you can provide and your own unique skill set.

At Step by Step Fostering, we pay anywhere between £380 to £585 per week depending on the placement type.

There is a matching process for placing looked after children and young people with foster carers. Both you and the looked after child or young person will have a choice as to whether you wish to be matched with each other.

Your sexual orientation and gender identity does not matter – you can still foster.

It doesn’t matter whether you are single or in a relationship, you can foster. If you are single, we recommend that you have a strong support network around you that you can lean on.