Frequently asked questions

We hope you've found the answers to most of your questions about becoming a foster carer on our website. A few of the questions we're asked most often are:

Do foster children need their own room or could they share with my child or children?

Your home doesn't need to be huge and luxurious, but ideally a child should have their own room. Many of the children we help have had very disrupted early lives and sharing a room with other children is probably not the best next step for them.

Some potential carers have suggested to us that their own children can share a room to leave a spare room for a foster child, but this can cause resentment from day one, which isn't ideal for the foster child or your family.

I’m single, does that matter?

You don't have to be married or have a long-term partner to become a foster carer. We have carers who are single, married couples, or cohabiting couples. If you are in a gay or lesbian partnership, that's fine too.

Being a carer does mean that you'll need to have enough time to look after the child or children in your care, and a single person in full-time work may it very difficult to juggle the two.

Will the fact that I/we don’t have our own children count against us?

If you don't have your own children, it doesn't mean that you can't become a Parents for Children carer. Some of our carers have children who still live with them, others have children have grown up and left home, and some carers have no children of their own.

What we do ask is that you have some practical experience of looking after children who can display challenging behaviour or who have complex care needs.

How much is the carer’s allowance, what does it cover?

Parents for Children carers receive a realistic allowance for each child in their care. The allowance is intended to assist with the financial cost of providing care for the child.

The allowance is paid on a weekly basis and is based on the age and specific needs of the child in your care as well as the experience of the carer. This is in line with Foster Care Standard 22.1: "the level of the allowance is linked to each carer's skills and abilities to meet the needs of children who are fostered and with their commitment to training and skills development."

If you have specific questions about allowance levels, please contact our foster care team at [email protected] or call 020 7520 2881/5.

What support does your agency provide?

Every foster carer in the UK must complete a comprehensive training programme before a child is placed into their care. Even if a carer already has experience of bringing up their own children, or is a trained teacher or nurse, this specialised training will add to their knowledge and make sure that they are fully equipped to provide high quality care to each child placed with them.

At Parents for Children, we specialise in helping some of the most troubled and demanding children. We know that our carers need the very best training and support from our specialist team to help them care for children with profound physical, emotional or learning disabilities.

We provide:

  • initial training
  • regular support groups
  • ongoing training
  • conferences and seminars
  • regular contact with a social worker
  • specialist help when you need it
  • out-of-hours support line

There's lots more information about our support and training programme on this website.

If we haven't answered your question here, or if you would just like to talk to us about caring for children with special needs, for long or short-term placements or as a member of our short breaks carer team, we would love to hear from you. You can register your interest online, email us at [email protected] or call 020 7520 2881/5 to talk to our fostering team.