Fostering is when you care for a child and give them a family life in your home because their family is unable to. Foster carers make a huge difference and contribution to children's lives.
Children and young people come into local authority care for all sorts of reasons. It can be due to a parent’s ill health, family problems or because a child has been neglected or abused.
These children and young people need to experience a positive family life and we are always recruiting individuals and families from all cultural backgrounds to provide the loving and caring homes that they deserve.
Why choose to foster?
Fostering is a role that fits in with family life. You can be at home full time and foster a baby, you can be employed part-time and foster a child at primary school or a teenager.
As a Newham foster carer you will receive:
- A weekly allowance to cover all of the child’s expenses based on the age of the child
- Additional allowances for birthdays, festivals and holidays
- A weekly fee for yourself, which increases with your experience
- A setting up grant of £750 for you to purchase furniture and equipment for the child ( once approved)
- Your own social worker (the child will have a different social worker to you)
- 24 hour support
- Support from a monthly foster care support group
- Membership of Newham Foster Carers’ Association
- Free membership to Fostering Network, an independent support organisation for foster carers
- Ongoing training throughout your fostering career
- Invitation to the foster carers annual awards event
- An additional payment of £1000 when as a Newham foster carer you recommend someone who goes on to be approved by Newham and accepts their first placement
Who can foster?
Lots of people can foster. You can be single, married, in a civil partnership, divorced or living with your partner.
However to foster you must:
- Enjoy looking after children
- Have a spare room, if fostering a child over 3 years old
- Have time to care for a child. For example if fostering a young child, this will mean taking them to and from school and taking them to meetings with their birth family
- You do not have to own your own home, you can be renting
- Live in or live within a reasonable commuting distance of Newham
- Have a level of maturity to not only cope with the demands of caring for a child or young person, but also be able to feel confident to liaise with professionals that are involved with looked after children and young people
- Be able to speak, read and write English to a reasonable standard
We welcome interest from people of all cultural backgrounds. We do not discriminate on the grounds of age, gender, religion, culture, disability, sexual orientation or marital status.
Children less than five years old or with relevant health needs will not be placed with carers who smoke.
Children aged 5+ may occasionally be placed with carers who smoke, but we expect the carer, or member of the household who smokes, to only smoke outside of the home. This is because of the serious health issues for all children from passive smoking.
Who needs to be looked after by foster carers?
- Baby and toddlers
- Children under 12 years old
Many of our foster carers look after teenagers long-term until the young person is ready to live independently.
We also provide parent and child placements - where the young person and their new baby are placed together in a foster home. As a foster carer you will need to supervise and work alongside the new parent to help them develop their confidence and parenting skills.
The following are given priority by Newham Fostering Services:
- Those interested in caring for a teenagers/sibling group
- Approved foster carers wishing to transfer to Newham.
Types of fostering
There are a number of ways you can foster.
When you look after a child for a few weeks or months whilst plans are made for their future. This may include returning them to their birth family or a move to adoptive parents.
When you give a child somewhere safe to stay overnight or for a few nights. The child is typically brought to the foster home at night by a social worker or police officer and very little information is known about the child. Some children who are placed in an emergency do remain with foster carers in the short term.
When you look after a child until he or she is ready to live independently. This provides a huge amount of stability for a child. Some of our children cannot return to their birth families and adoption may not be an option for them.
Family and friends carers
When you look after a child that is already known to you.
When you look after a child to give their parent or carer a short break. This maybe at regular intervals for example at specific weekends, half term breaks etc. In these circumstances its important that the foster carer is available to look after the child for more than one occasion.
Tell us you would like to foster
If you are interested in fostering, please complete fostering online enquiry form, and the Newham’s Fostering Recruitment Team will contact you within two working days. Alternatively, you can call the Fostering Recruitment Team direct on freephone 0800 0130 393.
We are legally required to carry out various checks as part of the assessment process for people wanting to become a foster carer to keep our children safe. This will include checking as to whether the applicant has had any previous involvement with Newham Social Services or any other borough’s Social Services in relation to their own family.