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Category: Fostering Info

23 February 2024 by ululkin@gmail.com 0 Comments

The Art of Foster Parenting: Creative Approaches to Support Children 

Discover the art of fostering and how you can unlock your potential using a range of creative approaches. 

Your decision to become a foster carer is a life-changing experience for children in desperate need of a nurturing home environment. Did you know that foster parenting is a skill that you need to continuously develop to support children in better ways? This article previews creative approaches to foster parenting that will enhance your fostering skills.

Creative Brushes for Blossoming Lives

In most cases, children in foster care come with complex emotions, experiences, and expectations that you are expected to manage. The uncertainties of handling these are often intricate. However, you can convert the complexities into spaces of transformation using a range of creative approaches to support children.

In the United Kingdom, there is a great emphasis on children’s emotional well-being and development, alongside their physical development. It mostly occurs as a journey that extends beyond the daily routines of life into the realm of creative expression.

Unleashing Creativity, Building Confidence:

There are several ideas that can unleash creativity and build confidence in children:

The magic of open-ended play 

Forget the structured approach to play and explore the world of “what if”. Ask yourself, what if you provide open-ended materials like playdough, blocks, costumes, and paints for children to build their imaginary worlds?

Art therapy 

Sometimes the world may fail to capture the swirling emotions of children. Considering using a non-verbal outlet like art can provide an excellent brushstroke of healing. Colour, texture, and form allow children to express their feelings using art.

Music and movement 

Let the music play! It is a creative approach that offers powerful catharsis for emotions. Movement allows children to find rhythm and explore their physicality, which is a form of non-verbal expression that builds self-awareness and confidence.


You can create threads of connection using stories that children have. Allow various forms of storytelling, including written and oral. While sharing the stories, you will create a good bond with the children that allows for open communication.

Celebrating Individuality, Embracing Traditions

Another set of approaches that will help you support foster children well is to reconnect them with their cultural background to create a sense of individuality.

Culinary creations 

Food is a good source of creating connections with foster children. Together, you can explore recipes from the child’s background. The child will be able to share flavours and stories attached to their heritage.

Celebrating cultural festivals 

Every culture has a vibrant tapestry of cultural celebrations. Explore the child’s cultural celebration and participate in its preparation with them.

Creating family rituals 

Together with the foster child, create new family rituals based on shared interests. Some of the ideas include movie nights, bedtime stories, baking adventures, hiking, etc. These rituals will create a sense of belonging that helps in enhancing their adaption to their new environment.

A Shared Journey of Growth

You should know that fostering goes beyond the creative approaches to fostering themselves. It involves creating space for acceptance where empathy plays a vital role in creating stepping stones for a child’s success.

Patience and understanding 

Healing is a process that takes time. You must be patient with a foster child in his/her emotional journey. During the process, empathise with their unique experiences while offering unconditional love and support.

Collaboration and partnership

Fostering is not an individual’s responsibility – it is a shared responsibility with various partners. Work closely with the child’s social workers, therapists, and teachers to create a holistic support system.

Celebrating small victories 

A child can make small steps towards achieving their goals. No matter how small the steps are, always celebrate these achievements. It is a positive reinforcement that boosts their confidence and desire to succeed further.

Witnessing Transformation

Fostering isn’t about perfection, it is about taking the right steps to support children. The creative approaches shared are a good stepping stone for foster carers. Just like an artist responsible for an art project, you will witness transformation as you implement these strategies.

The government provides the national framework but you are the artists that provide the brushes of creativity that will help the foster child realise their full potential.


20 June 2023 by DK 0 Comments

Can I Foster a Ukrainian Child?

Do you want to foster a Ukrainian child? Find out details that can help you get started through a formal foster care agency.

In response to the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine, the UK government launched the Homes for Ukraine scheme to help stranded Ukrainians seek accommodation in the UK. The scheme was launched in 2022 and has remained open to households fleeing from the Ukraine-Russia war.

Can I foster a Ukrainian child?

Yes, under the Homes for Ukraine scheme, you can foster a Ukrainian child in the UK. These are children who are below 18 years and have travelled to the UK without their birth parents or guardians.

How to foster a Ukrainian child?

  • Under the Home for Ukraine scheme, you can express your interest to host a Ukrainian child. Firstly, you must have:
    • A spare bedroom for at least 6 months
    • Legal residency in the UK as a citizen or leave to remain in the UK for at least 6 months
    • No criminal record.
    Once you meet these minimum eligibility requirements, you will record your interest to host a child from Ukraine. You can start your application on the government website dedicated to this scheme.
After your application, the local authority will get your details and match you with a child in your area that needs to be hosted. If you already know the child from Ukraine that you want to host, you can help them apply for a visa under the Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme.
Foster Carer and Legal Guardian

The local authority will then conduct a DBS check once you have been matched with a child. They will also visit your property to check if it meets the required standards.

Homes for Ukraine is not fostering under the UK fostering legislation. This is a UK Government Scheme for councils to find homes for Ukraine children who are not travelling with or joining their parent or legal guardian.

If you wish to apply for this scheme, go to the government website to make an application for the scheme.

Homeless Children & Foster Care System

How to become a foster carer

Fostering can also be rewarding. If you would like to know more about fostering, please, check an extensive list of the fostering criteria.

19 June 2023 by DK 0 Comments

How do Birth Families Visit their Child in Foster Care?

If a child is taken into foster care, those who have parental responsibility will still have rights over their child; albeit limited.
If there is a care order that places a child under foster care, the Local Authority will share the responsibility of making important decisions about the child. Some of the decisions that will be made by the Local Authority include:
  • Where the child will live
  • Who will look after them
  • How the child will be educated
  • If a parent has made the decision for their child to go into care without a care order, they will still have parental responsibility. 

Maintaining contact with their child

Birth parents usually have a right to visit their children whilst they are in foster care. The foster care agency or the Local Authority should facilitate contact between birth families and their child. In most cases, foster carers will be required to support this facilitation in a number of ways:
  • In a few cases, if deemed suitable and safe by the Local Authority, birth families could come to the foster carer’s home to see their child and the foster carer will be required to supervise this contact.
  • If deemed suitable and safe by the Local Authority, birth families could see their child in the community for an activity or meal, and the foster carer will supervise this. The carer and birth family member will agree on a mutual location to meet for the contact.
  • Some children will be able to stay unsupervised at their birth families home on occasions, including overnight, if assessed as suitable and safe. The foster carer may be required to transport the child to and from the home.
  • Some children will have contact with their parents via telephone or video call from their foster carers home. The foster carer may be required to supervise these calls.
  • In many cases, children will have contact with their birth families in a contact centre and this will be supervised by a member of staff there or a social worker to ensure the child’s safety and wellbeing. Although foster carers will not be required to supervise contact on these occasions, it is very likely you will support with transporting the child to and from the contact centre. Furthermore, providing emotional support to the child before and after the contact session.

Can contact be stopped?

Ideally, there is usually no need to stop contact. However, if the social worker feels there is a need, they could review the current contact plan and it could be stopped. The social worker or the Local Authority must seek a court order to stop the contact. If the situation is urgent, the social worker can stop the contact and obtain a court order within 7 days.

Do you still have questions?

Please reach out to us if you have any questions about how you, as a foster carer, may support a child to have contact with their birth families.

23 March 2023 by DK 0 Comments

Can Foster Carers Give Consent for Surgery?

Making decisions for your foster child is one of your responsibilities as a foster carer. However, the scope of the decisions that you can make is also limited. Find out if you can give consent for a foster child to undergo surgery.

When you register to become a foster carer and subsequently get a placement, your foster care agency will let you know the kind of decisions that you can make on behalf of the foster child. They are called delegated authority.

Can you give consent for surgery?

You can give consent for medical surgery if the scope of your delegated authority allows you to make long-term decisions for the foster child. However, in most cases, you will have to involve the foster care agency before giving consent.

So, what is the scope of your delegated authority?

Your placement plan should inform you of the scope of your delegated authority. This will help you determine if you can make the decision for your foster child to undergo surgery or not.

3 levels of delegated authority

According to the Department of Education, there are three levels of delegated authority i.e.
Fostering Care Agency

1. Day-to-day decisions

These are simple daily decisions that you can make without consulting the foster care agency or the birth parents. They include school trips, parent-teacher meetings, dental check-ups, and haircuts among other simple decisions.

2. Long-term decisions

These are long-term decisions like the school in which the foster child will attend.

3. Significant decisions

These are decisions that are made by local authorities or birth parents; for example, surgery.

Medical treatment for your foster child

As earlier mentioned, your child placement plan will determine if you can make medical decisions for your foster child. Contact your foster care agency to know if you are able to make decisions about:

  • Medical examination
  • Medication
  • Surgery
  • Local or general anaesthetic


As a foster carer, you have delegated authority over the foster child. Find out from your foster care agency the scope of your delegated authority to know if you can make medical decisions such as giving consent for surgery.

21 March 2023 by DK 0 Comments

How to Choose a Foster Care Agency?

It can be overwhelming to choose the right foster care agency. We’ll share a precise guideline that you should follow when choosing a foster care agency. 

Are you planning to register as a foster carer? Choosing the right foster care agency is a crucial part of fostering. We’ll share a few tips that will equip you with the right set of skills to choose the right foster agency.

Factors to consider when choosing a foster care agency

You should consider the following factors before you settle on a foster care agency.


You will often need support from the foster care agency when fostering. So, you will need to establish how quick they are at responding to you before you join. Several cues can be used to determine the responsiveness of a foster care agency.
You can call their office and see how quickly they respond. If they tell you that they will get back to you, keep in mind how long they take before getting back to you. Never think that the responsiveness of a foster care agency will change after you have registered with them.

Individual attention

Do you have personal one-on-one time to spend with the foster care agency? Are they offering personal attention during their meetings with you? A good foster care agency should even assign you a social care worker that works closely with you to attend to your individual questions.

Types of child placement

You should also ask about the ages and demographics of children placed in foster care by the agency. If they specialise at a certain age, you should ask yourself if that is what you want.

Statistics and reference

You also need to check out the statistics around the fostering agency to determine their experience in placement. In addition, you can seek out references from people who have already fostered to help you know their personal experiences with such foster care agencies.

Community and networking opportunities

The right foster care agency should offer multiple opportunities for foster carers to join communities and networks that support your fostering needs. This is an important consideration for first-time foster carers. You will need these networks to help you adapt to the fostering lifestyle as well as solve challenges related to fostering.

Fostering allowance

You should also compare the fostering allowances offered by different agencies. Pick an agency that aligns well with your financial needs. These are the top factors that you should consider when choosing a foster care agency. There are more factors including:
  • Reputation of the foster care agency ‘
  • Social opportunities
  • Ongoing training opportunities
  • Values of the foster care agency
Become a Respite Foster Carer

Getting started…

Are you ready to start fostering? You can contact us and have a tour of our foster care agency to determine if it is the right fit for your fostering needs.

8 March 2023 by DK 0 Comments

Can You Register with More than One Fostering Agency?

One of the questions that are often asked by foster carers is whether they can foster with more than one agency. Well, unfortunately, UK law does not allow foster carers to foster for more than one agency at a time.

This means that foster carers would have to resign from their current foster agency to join a new one. There is no limitation to the number of foster agencies that you can resign from and join new ones. The only requirement is that you have to be in one foster agency at a time.

Why would you want to register with more than one fostering agency?

  • To compare allowances of different foster agencies and choose the best
  • To find placements easily
  • To get enhanced training from different fostering agencies
There could be other reasons; however, it is unfortunate that you can’t register with more than one foster agency.

The solution:

It is pretty simple – you need to research the best fostering agency in the UK and register there. If you are currently engaged with another fostering agency, you can initiate a transfer, which should be quite simple.

Let us know if you have any questions about registering as a foster carer.

6 March 2023 by DK 0 Comments

How Easy is it to Change Foster Agencies?

Switching from one fostering agency to another should be a fairly simple process. Learn how you can change fostering agencies and continue caring for vulnerable children.

Just like it is with any other career, you might feel the need to change service providers. Changing fostering agencies isn’t a strange thing – it is common and the process is well-defined.

Reasons why you might want to change fostering agencies

  • Lack of support from the current agency
  • If you are not treated right
  • Lack of financial support
  • Lack of placements
  • No respite
  • Insufficient training
Have you ever thought about changing fostering agencies? Well, you could be having valid reasons for wanting to change from your current fostering agency to another. Regardless of your reason, we support you and will help you to change your fostering agency.

What is the Process?

Let your current Fostering Agency or Local Authority know of your intention to transfer. This involves providing them in writing that you wish to transfer to another agency. The application process in a new fostering agency cannot begin unless there is confirmation that your notice to transfer is in place with your current fostering agency or Local Authority that you intend to transfer.
If you have a fostered child in your care, you will need to contact the placing Local Authority or the child’s social worker to inform them of your intention to transfer. They will set up a meeting to discuss the change and how it affects the child. One of the probable options is to change your fostering agency with the child. You should let us know if this is your desire so that we can help you handle the process without causing disruption to your family.
Your resignation period with your current agency is 28 days. The resignation is submitted once the new agency has completed their own checks and assessment, as well as review your records held by your current agency.
If you have a fostered child living with you, the end date of your resignation will be the same day as when you are approved with your new agency. Although you cannot be approved with more than one agency at the same time, it is important there is no gap between the date of your resignation and new approvement if you have a fostered child in your care.

Can I get help?

Yes, we can help you through the process of transferring from the previous fostering agency or Local Authority and beginning registering with our agency. Simply contact us today and inform us of your desire to change agencies. Our team will pick up from there and guide you on the next steps.

23 February 2023 by DK 0 Comments

Is a Foster Carer a Legal Guardian?

Fostering and guardianship exist in the UK to help vulnerable children and young people in the UK find stability in loving homes. However, the two are different legally.
At first glance, it is easy to assume that fostering is similar to guardianship. They both involve the provision of shelter and stability to vulnerable children and young people. However, a foster carer does not have legal guardianship over a foster child.

What is the difference between fostering and guardianship?

While both fostering and guardianship are responsible for a child’s development, guardianship is more permanent. A Guardian has full legal rights over the child. However, it is important to note that full legal rights of guardianship can be reversed by the courts if it is believed that it is in the best interest of the child.

Do foster carers have legal guardianship?

No, foster carers don’t have legal guardianship over foster children. However, if you want to become a legal guardian of a foster child, you can apply for a Special Guardianship Order (SGO).

What is a special guardian?

This is an application made when a child is unable to live with birth parents but at the same time is not fit for adoption. Special guardianship grants you legal rights to look after the child until they reach 18 years.
This special guardianship allows you to make the day-to-day decisions for the child like medical and schooling. You don’t need to involve birth parents in these day-to-day decisions.
However, you will need the consent of everyone with parental responsibility if you want to make serious decisions about the child. For example;
  • Changing their names
  • Putting the child up for adoption
  • Moving with the child abroad for more than 3 months
  • Subjecting a child to surgery that is not health-related; for example, cosmetic surgery, circumcision, or sterilisation.

Do you want to apply for guardianship?

Do you want to apply for guardianship over a foster child? You can contact us today to help you with the process.

22 February 2023 by DK 0 Comments

Can Foster Carers Claim Housing Benefit?

Claiming Housing Benefit as a foster carer is possible. Find out details about eligibility and how you can start your application.
As a foster carer in the UK, you are entitled to a weekly allowance. The range of this allowance depends on several factors.
The fostering allowance that you receive doesn’t count as income. This means that you can apply for and claim Housing Benefit. However, you have a legal obligation to inform the organisation that you are receiving fostering allowance.

About Housing Benefit

Housing Benefit is a regular payment made by the government to support low-income earners to pay for their accommodation. Currently, it is being phased out and replaced by Universal Credit.


You are eligible to receive Housing Benefit if:

You will not be eligible to receive Housing Benefit if:

    • You have savings over of £16,000
    • You are living in a house of a close relative
    • You are a full-time student
    • You are residing in the UK as an asylum seeker
    • You are claiming Universal Credit.

What will you get?

Depending on your circumstance, you may get all or part of your rent. There is no set amount for Housing Benefit. Broadly, the amount that you get depends on whether you are renting from a council or privately.

Council and social housing rent

You will receive your benefit depending on:
  • Your ‘eligible’ rent calculated as rent plus any service charges
  • Availability of a spare room
  • Household income
  • Your circumstances
Become A Foster Carer In London

Private rent

The amount that you receive when you are renting privately can either be your actual rent or the Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rate, whichever is lower. Factors that affect the LHA rate are the place you live and the size of your household. The amount that you get depends on:
  • The lower figure of your LHA rate or ‘eligible’ rent
  • Your household income
  • Your circumstances.


Personal circumstances will determine if you are eligible for Housing Benefit. You can contact us if you want more information about your personal circumstances as a foster carer and your eligibility to claim Housing Benefit.

21 February 2023 by DK 0 Comments

What Health and Safety Legislation Applies to Foster Carers?

The Department of Education has set clear legislation outlining the health and safety rules that foster carers should be aware of when caring for children and young people. This is a summarised health and safety legislation that applies to foster carers. 
As you would expect, the UK government has established legislation to protect the health and safety of children living in foster care. Any foster carer should read the document with the National Minimum Standards (NMS) that applies to fostering services. It is from this document that we will explain the health and safety legislation that applies to foster carers.
Standard 10: Promoting a suitable physical environment for the foster child. It is from the NMS Standard 10 that foster carers find legislation for health and safety when fostering.

The expected outcome of Standard 10

Children live in foster homes which provide adequate space, to a suitable standard. The child enjoys access to a range of activities that promote his/her development. 

Overview of the legislation

  • The home should provide comfortable accommodation for all living there. Where appropriate, it should be suitably fitted with trained staff to care for a disabled child.
  • The foster home should be warm, adequately furnished, and maintains good standards of hygiene. Outdoor spaces should be clean, safe, and well-maintained.
  • The foster carer should understand the policy governing foster children during transportation and in homes.
  • A foster home should be inspected annually, without an appointment, to ensure it meets the set standards.
  • Every child above the age of three should have their own bedroom. Where such an arrangement is not possible, sharing a bedroom can be agreed upon by each child’s responsible authority; and in such case, each child should have a private area within the bedroom. However, such arrangements should be made with the authorisation of the fostering agency, which will assess the probable bullying that may occur and take into account history of abuse, as well as any other relevant information.

Home Safety Checklist

To ensure adherence to the health and safety legislation, foster carers should have a look at this checklist.
  • Fire Safety: Every fostering household is expected to have a fire emergency evacuation plan. A home should also have smoke detectors on every floor.
  • Falls:  To prevent falls, fostering households should check regulations covering carpets, stair gates, bunk beds, Moses Baskets, outdoor play equipment, and trampolines.
  • Burns and Scalds : There should be fireguards around any open fires. There should also be cooker safety guards and regulation of bath water temperatures.
  • Strangulation and Suffocation: Any items such as curtains and toys that may pose a hazard to a child should be considered.
  • Poisoning: All medicines, cleaning products, and plants should be kept out of reach of children or in a locked cabinet.
  • Drowning: Proper care should be taken around areas that are prone to drowning such as baths, ponds, and pools. Access to these areas should be restricted or controlled in accordance with the age of the child.
  • Cutting injuries: Proper care should be taken when storing sharp items such as knives, razors, glass, or any other sharp implements. They should be kept out of reach of children.
  • Vehicle Safety: The vehicle used to transport the child should be safe and have up-to-date insurance. Children should be in a child car seat until they are 12 years old or 135 cm tall, whichever comes first. Children over 12 or more than 135cm tall must wear a seat belt.
  • Firearms: A foster carer holding a licensed gun is expected to meet the Firearm Regulation 1998, which includes securely storing them to prevent unauthorised access to the gun.
  • Pets and Livestock: Foster carers must declare all pets and livestock before the placement of a child. A social worker should be informed before a new pet or livestock is added to a fostering household.

Do you still have questions?

Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about your role and the legislation around the health and safety of foster children.