Welcome to F5 Foster Care
we are delighted that you have dropped by
F5 Foster Care is small but proud Independent Fostering Agency, based in the heart of the West Midlands. We opened our doors in 2018 and since then we have been working with Local people and Placing Authorities across the West Midlands to provide homes for vulnerable children and young people in need of Foster Care.
Find out more about Fostering
If you have found yourself considering the thought of becoming a Foster Carer then no doubt you will have a lot of questions and will be looking to find out information such as Who can foster, what types fostering are available, what support is available etc. Well we are pleased to say we can happily answer all of these questions for you.
Start your Fostering Journey Today!
You can start your fostering journey today by reaching out to the team.
Click Here to request an information pack or to take your first steps towards your application.
Transfer to F5 Fostercare
If you are already a registered Foster Carer and would like to talk to us about transferring to F5 Foster Care then click the link below to reach out to our friendly team. You can also find out more about what is involved in the transfer process by clicking here
Different Types of Fostering
Children that come into care have a variety of different needs and as such some of our Fosters Carers specialise in different “types” of foster care. As you go through your assessment with your Social Worker, you will have the opportunity to work out together which types of fostering placements you may be able to offer. Whichever type of foster care you are interested in providing, we will offer you a whole range of training and support to help you grow your knowledge so you can offer the best care possible.
Click below to find out more about the different types of Foster Care placements and a little bit of information on each one.
Matching you with the right Child/Children
Matching children with the right Foster Home is absolutely vital, both for the child and for the fostering household.
When we receive a referral from a Local Authority for a child who is need of a Foster Home, we take into consideration all of the information that has been provided when considering which of our Foster Carers may be suitable. Click below to find out more about some of the different areas that we consider when making matching decisions and why.
Challenges of Fostercare
We will be the first people to stand and shout from the hilltops just how great Fostering is, both for you as Carers and for the children and young people who are having life changing breakthroughs across the country. However, having said that it is far from easy, the reason people are so fulfilled and satisfied by what they do is because of the amount of hard work, commitment, dedication and resilience it takes.
Managing your expectations is a very important part of preparing to foster. Click below to find read more about what challenges you may face as a Foster Carer
What makes a Good Foster Carer
We have found that the most effective Foster Carers have:
-Empathy and good listening skills
-Resilience when things get tough
-Flexibility and adaptability
-Patience and humour
-Stability and consistency in their personal and family lives
-An ability to guide and discipline children without the use of physical punishment
-The ability to look after themselves emotionally and staying well
-A willingness to work with other people in the child’s life such as birth parents and caseworkers
-A willingness to support any child to develop a sense of identity that includes their culture, language and religion where appropriate.
Every day children all over the UK need to leave their families and their homes for a variety of reasons. Most often this is due to neglect and abuse but there are many other reasons children may need to be cared for. For these vulnerable children and young people, being placed within families that are stable, warm and welcoming, whilst major decisions are being about their lives is vital. Unfortunately there is a shortage of well matched foster carers across the west midlands and as such this is having a direct impact on our communities children at a time when they are at their most vulnerable. Click below to see information about what foster carers are needed in your local to you and why.
Support and Training
We believe wholeheartedly that our Foster Carers deserve nothing but the highest levels of support and training. We absolutely commit to your development as a Foster Carer, as it is through the support and training that we provide to you that we can make the difference every day to children across the West Midlands. Our aim is to empower you to be best the best Foster Carer you can be, meaning that children in your care are able to achieve positive outcomes and reach their fullest potential.
There are many different areas in which we provide support please click below for more information.
Could I Foster?
Due to the sensitivity of the role the Foster Carer, its absolutely something that is not suited to everyone, and unfortunately it is the case that not everyone who would like to Foster is able to do so. To Foster with F5 Foster there is a minimum criteria that you would need to meet at the offset (see below) and additionally, the assessment process that all of our applicants have to work through is very thorough.
We have added below the initial criteria that you will need to meet so that you can judge whether or not you feel it could be suited to your lifestyle currently. If the time isn’t right don’t worry you can still help us increase the number of available Foster Carers by spreading the word that we are recruiting. The following points are essential in our Foster Carers
- You have a passion for providing care and support to children and young people
- You are over 21
- You don’t have a police record for any offences of a violent or sexual nature or for any offences towards children
- You have at least one permanently available spare bedroom (Should be on the same floor as the Foster Carers and any children at home should already have a bedroom each)
- You are happy to attend various training and support group meetings
- You have gained some form of child Care experience, not necessarily with your own children
- You are able to transport children to and from school, meetings, appointments and to set locations for family time (this can be extremely difficult using public transport so we would recommend that you are able to drive and have access to a car)
- You are able to speak, read and write in English
- You are either a British Citizen or have been granted indefinite leave to remain / Settled Status
Fostering Myths busted
We sometimes hear from the people we talk to that they have been put off finding out more because they assume they wouldn’t be able to Foster for other reasons. Let us try to bust some myths for you:
- It makes no difference whether you’re single, married, divorced or living with a partner
- You don’t need to be a homeowner – all we ask is that your tenancy is stable
- Disabilities or medical conditions will not stop you from becoming a Foster Carer, so long as it does not affect your ability to Care for a child and the condition is stable. You will undertake a medical assessment as part of your assessment so any illness will be assessed on an individual basis.
- It does not matter whether you are in a relationship or not or whether that relationship is with someone of the same or different gender (or does not identify with a gender)
- You can be a Foster Carer and work – However, you will need to be available to support your foster child if they are not in school (school holidays, illness, exclusions etc) and also attend a variety of meetings and training sessions, so flexibility and the ability to remain at home will be vital. You can also Foster if you are retired.
- You can become a Foster Carer no matter what your ethnicity, religion or culture. In fact we actively look to recruit a diverse range of Foster Carers to help us provide better matched homes for the children that come through our Fostering service
The Fostering Assessment Process
If you make the decision to leap into your Foster Care journey, you (and if applicable your partner) will need to go through the Prospective Foster Carer assessment process. You need to be prepared fully before undertaking this. It’s a very in-depth and personal assessment that will look at every part of your life. Don’t worry this is something that you will be supported with throughout as you will be provided with an Assessing Social Worker to guide you through the whole process. We have listed the key areas that are checked, this list isn’t exhaustive but will hopefully give you a good idea as to what you can expect:
- Employment History
- Criminal Record and Baring Checks
- Personal references
- Home Risk Assessments
- Family References
- Medical Checks
- Ex -Partner references
- Pet Risk Assessments
- Local Authority Checks
The assessment will also include an in- depth analysis on you, your childhood and adolescence, your family history and your achievements and traumas. The Assessing Social Worker will discuss with you at great length all the significant events in your life and will also provide you with home study that will help you understand more about the children that may potentially be joining you in your home. There will also be group-based training sessions (a minimum of 3 full days) that you will need to attend, the feedback from these sessions will form part of your “Prospective Foster Carers Report”.
The assessment process takes roughly 4 – 6 months and once completed is passed over to an independent panel who will read through the report in detail to make a recommendation as to whether or not they feel that you would be suitable to Foster. You will likely be asked to attend the panel meeting with your Assessing Social Worker, so they can meet you in person and ask any questions they may have regarding your application and circumstances.
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