Fostering

Frequently Asked Questions for this Service

Question: What kinds of children use the Family Link scheme?

Answer: Children who use the scheme have a range of different types of special needs. Some children have a moderate learning or physical disability, whereas others have more severe and complex disabilities or health needs. The ‘matching’ process concentrates on linking the right child with the right carer. There is no typical ‘Family Link’ arrangement and no one is asked to take a child they do not feel able to manage. - Related Link

Has this FAQ answered your query?

Question: How are familiy Link carers selected?

Answer: Carers attend preparation groups prior to being assessed. The assessment process is detailed and is similar to the process that foster carers undergo. References are taken up from many agencies as well as personal references and medical references. A series of interviews leads to a full report being presented to the Fostering Panel.

This process is in keeping with regulations issued by the government (Fostering Services Regulations, Department of Health, [Care Standards Act, 2000, and Children Act 1989]). These regulations also govern how the process of Family Link is arranged.
- Related Link

Has this FAQ answered your query?

Question: What experience do Family Link carers need?

Answer: Carers do not have to have previous experience. The assessment process will look at skills they have that would gauge their ability to care for a child. - Related Link

Has this FAQ answered your query?

Question: Is training provided for Family Link carers?

Answer: Family Link Scheme Carers undertake basic preparation. After approval they are invited to a wide range of training. Specific training for specific children can also be arranged. - Related Link

Has this FAQ answered your query?

Question: What training and support will I receive if I become a foster carer?

Answer: Every person who applies to become a foster carer is supported through the Skills to Foster training course. A Fostering Social Worker will undertake your fostering assessment and present this to the Fostering Panel alongside you. Once approved you will be assigned a Supervising Social Worker or Fostering Practitioner who will provide you with 6 weekly supervision and support. The Fostering Team will be contactable during office hours and will support your attendance at professional’s meetings and reviews. If you require emergency assistance out of office hours this support is available via 24 hour telephone support and assistance.

Caring for children of any age is a challenging job that can also bring tremendous rewards. Support and advice is available through your allocated Supervising Social Worker or Fostering Practitioner. Mentoring schemes with experienced foster carers and local support groups meet regularly to enable carers to share their concerns and build on their skills.

You will also have access to ongoing training and professional development, which will be tailored to your needs and experience by your Supervising Social Worker. Training courses include: paediatric first aid; attachment and loss and de-escalation.




Has this FAQ answered your query?

Question: How do I find out more about the Family Link Scheme?

Answer: If you wish to find out more about becoming a carer please contact:
The Fostering Team, Isle of Wight Children’s Services, County Hall, High Street, Newport, Isle of Wight, PO30 2UD. Telephone 01983 823160

Your details will be taken and information will be sent to you. If you continue to be interested a Family Link Social Worker will visit you at home to discuss Family Link further.

If you wish your child to be assessed for the scheme please contact:

Your child’s social worker at the Disabled Children’s Team, , Isle of Wight Children’s Services, County Hall, High Street, Newport, Isle of Wight, PO30 2UD, 01983 821000

Or:

If you do not already have a social worker in the Disabled Children’s Team, please contact HantsDirect on 0845 650 0097

An assessment of your needs and those of your child will be undertaken. The decision will then be made as to whether your needs can be met through the Family Link Scheme, or whether there are other services that would be more appropriate for your family.

Once it is decided to refer you to the Family Link Scheme, a worker will visit you and your child to collect the information we need to make the right match for your child.
- Related Link

Has this FAQ answered your query?

Question: Do I have to own my home?

Answer: No, we have foster carers who own their own homes, are paying a mortgage or renting privately or from a housing association. The most important thing is that you should be settled as we aim to reduce the instability as much as possible for a child who has had to move in with a new set of carers.



Has this FAQ answered your query?

Question: How do I become a Foster Carer / Family Link Carer/ Supported Lodgings Carer ?

Answer: If you are interested in becoming a Foster Carer/ Family Link Carer/ Supported Lodgings please contact the Fostering Team on 01983 823160 and we will send you an information pack. If you are suitable to proceed, we will arrange for a Social Worker to visit you to discuss fostering in more detail. - Related Link

Has this FAQ answered your query?

Question: How much time is involved in providing Family Link?

Answer: The length of the breaks provided by the Family Link Scheme can vary from a few hours to overnight stays. The frequency also varies depending on what is needed and what carers can offer. - Related Link

Has this FAQ answered your query?

Question: What is Private Fostering?

Answer: Private Fostering is different to fostering. The Children Act 1989 defines a privately fostered child as ' a child who is under the age of 16 (under 18 if they are disabled) and who is cared for and accommodated for 28 consecutive days or more by someone other than a parent, other persons with a parental responsibility or a close relative (such as a grandparent, brother, sister, uncle or aunt (whether of full blood or half blood or by affinity,) or a step parent.) - Related Link

Has this FAQ answered your query?

Question: Can you accommodate my child?

Answer: No, any accommodation issues for children up to 16 years of age would need to be referred to Children’s Services for an assessment.

Enquiries should be made during normal office hours to the following:
Isle of Wight and HantsDirect on: 0845 650 0097
- Related Link

Has this FAQ answered your query?

Question: How will I know if my home is suitable for provide foster care/supportive lodgings?

Answer: An initial risk assessment of the property will identify any areas of concern. You have a responsibility to maintain your home to a high standard to ensure the health and safety of those placed with you (eg maintenance of gas appliances every 12 months by a Gas Safe Registered worker, safety of electrical appliances and ensuring smoke detectors are fitted and operational).

Has this FAQ answered your query?

Question: Do I need a spare room?

Answer: Yes, this is an essential requirement to become a Foster Carer. It is important that the child have a space they can identify as their own..

Has this FAQ answered your query?

Question: Do I need to have previous childcare experience?

Answer: Yes this is an essential requirement. We ask that the applicant have previous experience either professionally, personally or voluntarily. The Island's Foster Service can suggest organisations which can help with this experience.

Has this FAQ answered your query?

Question: Am I too old/young to become a Foster Carer?

Answer: We ask that applicants are over the age of 21 but there is no upper age limit. We do ask that all potential carers are physically fit and healthy.




Has this FAQ answered your query?

Question: Can I foster if I work full-time?

Answer: Yes, however foster care is a big commitment and we ask that you have the appropriate time and flexibility to support a child throughout the working week. A child in foster care will have meetings during the week which the Foster Carers are required to attend. If you feel you can not offer this level of support then there are other options available to you and can be discussed further with the fostering service.

Has this FAQ answered your query?

Question: Can I foster if I am single?

Answer: Yes, we have many single men and women who successfully foster for the Isle of Wight Council.

Has this FAQ answered your query?

Question: Does it matter if I have an on-going health condition?

Answer: This will depend on the outcome of the medical examination from your GP which will take place during the fostering assessment. We do not discriminate against anyone who has general health conditions or disabilities but we do need to know how this could possibly impact on your parenting of the child and how we could support you in this.

Has this FAQ answered your query?

Question: Can I foster if I smoke? (Including E-Cigarette)

Answer: If you smoke you will not be allowed to foster a child under the age of five or with a health condition or disability. We ask that you smoke outside and away from the child. If you are trying to give up smoking we ask that you are able to give evidence for up to 12 months that you have given up smoking if you wish to foster a child under five or a child with a health condition or disability.

Has this FAQ answered your query?

Question: What if someone in the household has a criminal record?

Answer: If you or someone in your household holds a criminal record this will not necessarily stop you from becoming a Foster Carer. This depends on the offence and type of conviction so please be sure to discuss this with the foster service. We undertake a DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service check) with the police for all our applicants and all criminal records and cautions will be disclosed.

Has this FAQ answered your query?

Question: What if I have debt?

Answer: We will look in to your financial situation during the assessment process as we need to ensure that the household is a stable environment and that you can meet any rent or mortgage payments.

Has this FAQ answered your query?

Question: Can I foster if I have my own children?

Answer: Yes, in fact many looked after children benefit from a family environment. Each member of your household will be considered during the assessment process as we need to take in to account the wishes and feelings of your child/children to ensure that it is the right decision for them too.

Has this FAQ answered your query?

Question: Do I need to know how to drive and have a vehicle?

Answer: No, however as a Foster Carer you will be asked to attend meetings, appointments, take children to and from school and contact. Due to this we will need to consider how you will meeting these travel requirements.

Has this FAQ answered your query?

Question: Can I foster if I have pets?

Answer: Yes, they will be taken in to consideration during the assessment process.

Has this FAQ answered your query?

Question: What about people having fertility treatment or counselling

Answer: We recognise that the process of fertility treatment can be an emotionally draining time and it can take time to adjust to news about your fertility treatment. For this reason, if you have recently received fertility treatment or have experienced a miscarriage we ask that you take the appropriate time to decide on pursuing becoming a Foster Carer. We can discuss this with you and look at your individual circumstances to see if you are ready to start the fostering process.

Has this FAQ answered your query?

Question: Can I foster if I am renting or in social housing?

Answer: Yes, provided that you have the required spare-room and written consent from your landlord.

Has this FAQ answered your query?