Foster care has different elements for applicants to consider

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Foster care has different elements for applicants to consider

Foster care and essential information

Foster care and basic considerations

Foster carers do a special job. Fostering children can be demanding. Carers do receive payments – called the fostering allowance. This normally covers things such as food, clothing, transportation, pocket money and outings. There are different types of fostering. Short-term, long-term, emergency, short break (respite care), remand placements and parent and child placements are examples. Some children need support for a limited period and are then able to return to their birth families. They may only need care for a few nights.

Generally, carers look after children when their own parents are unable to do so. Looking after children will require training. People wonder how long does it take to become a carer? It can take between four and six months to be approved to look after children. To care for a child or young person, you have to be 21 years of age. The law actually states people can become carers from the age of 18. As part of the application process, there are fostering assessment questions. Fostering agencies work hard to prepare applicants and provide support all through the approval process. You can search online for a full list of fostering agencies. Fostering through a local authority is another option.

Who can consider fostering?

People who care for children come from all types of backgrounds. There is no set age for fostering. You have to have a spare room for the sole use of a child/young person. You also have to be a full-time resident in the UK – or have leave to remain. Caring for children who have suffered abuse and/or neglect can be hard work. Fostering siblings or looking after teenagers can be challenging. Providing care for a child with a disability will require special training. Once you are approved as a carer, you can think about specialising. Today, many children come into care because they have been abused or suffered neglect. Therapeutic carers look after children with these problems. Carers with the right training can help children overcome such experiences. You can be a carer if you have your own children. Fostering can be a very positive experience for them.

If you are wondering how much do carers get paid each month, the amount can vary. Therapeutic fostering is paid at an enhanced rate. Each agency or local authority will have a set fostering pay scale.

There are organisations like The Fostering Network that provide advice and guidance on fostering.

Carers do an amazing job. It can be a complex and challenging role – involving annual reviews, liaison with social workers and ongoing professional development. But helping a child or young person make something of their lives is incredibly rewarding.

Apply to Rainbow Fostering.

Rainbow is a leading fostering agency. We have been finding loving homes for looked after children for over 21 years. Considering fostering seriously? We will advise on fostering pay and benefits – including tax exemption. You can become a carer with Team Rainbow whatever your marital status, ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation. You don’t have to be a homeowner to care for a looked after child. Carers need to come from a variety of backgrounds and have varied life experiences, skills and qualities so they can help meet the needs of children and young people being fostered.

Rainbow have the experience to provide well-matched fostering placements for our carers. We offer varied careers in fostering and all the training and support you will need. Childcare experience can be an advantage but it is not essential for fostering. What matters most, is someone’s ability and commitment to nurture a child and provide them with a stable, loving home.

Transfer to Rainbow Fostering.

Already fostering, considering fostering or switching to another agency. We make the process quick, easy and efficient. So if you are already registered as a carer with another fostering agency or local authority, we would like to explain the benefits of fostering with Rainbow. Please contact us – you can also qualify for a special bonus – please note, the payment will only be made for carers who are already caring for a child on a long-term basis.

If you can refer someone to us, a bonus of £500 could come your way. Please note: it will be paid, once your referral has been approved. Then the first placement has to be made.

A quick up date: fostering figures for England as supplied by Ofsted

These figures for 2016 / 2017 include fostering provision for both local authority and IFA services. They relate to the situation in England for the year ending March 31st 2017. Significant figures:

  1. At 31st March, 2017, there were 83,930 approved fostering places. This represented an increase of one per cent on the previous year.
  2. At 31st March, 2017, there were 43,710 approved fostering households. This represented a decrease of one per cent on the previous year.
  3. At 31st March, 2017, 114,425 initial enquiries had been received. This compares to a figure of 101,795 during 2015/16. This represented an increase of twelve per cent – down one per cent in the local authority (LA) sector, and up twenty per cent in the independent fostering agency (IFA) sector.

Consider Rainbow therapeutic fostering options.

Rainbow’s specialist fostering service aims to meet the needs of children who have experienced trauma following abuse and/or neglect. It requires skill and expertise to care for children with behavioural, emotional and attachment problems. This type of care can be challenging, but our therapeutic carers are supported as part of a professional collaborative team. If you are already a therapeutic carer and would like more information about transferring to Rainbow – as well as the excellent benefits available – please visit

London, Manchester, Birmingham and the South Coast are areas we are actively looking to recruit new carers. Call now on 020 8427 3355 or use our National telephone Line 0330 311 2845

Rainbow Fostering news and occasional comment at

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