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Guernsey Foster Care

Will isn't sure how to improve the situation with his family and feels like the world is against him



What is fostering?

Fostering is looking after a child or young person who is unable to live with their parents. The child will be cared for in your home for a period of time ranging from overnight to several months or several years.

Why do some children need fostering?

There are many reasons why a child is fostered. It could be due to an illness of a parent where emergency care is needed; the child may have suffered abuse or neglect, or a breakdown of family relationships.

What sort of backgrounds will fostered children come from and what will they have experienced?

Each child`s circumstances are different but every child will feel anxious about leaving their parents and taken to live with strangers. This in itself will be a traumatic experience. Often the child will blame themselves for what has happened to them and will feel lonely, confused and isolated. The child may be very withdrawn and find it hard to trust adults, they will need encouragement to help them move on from past experiences, but with patience and understanding from a foster carer, many children are transformed and can rebuild their lives.

What kind of people can foster?

You have to be over 21 years old to foster in Guernsey, there is no upper age limit and generally all sorts of people can become foster carers such as:

  • Childless couples and couples with children
  • Single people with or without children
  • Lesbians and gay men

Do not rule yourself out. We will look at all applications individually.

What would prevent me from being able to foster?

A few circumstances automatically prevent someone from being able to foster such as people who have committed offences against children.

What space do I need at home?

You need to have a spare room for a child to stay in. The exception is for babies/toddlers who can share a room with the foster carer.

What kind of an allowance will I get?

We pay our foster carers a weekly allowance for each child or young person in placement plus a weekly, progressive fee (skills payment) for the foster carer linked to defined standards in foster care. The Allowance is not subject to tax but the fee is taxable. We also provide equipment such as beds and cots and any extra items needed when a child is first placed with you.

What training will I receive?

We will provide on-going training to meet your individual needs as a foster carer ranging from basic foster care training to more in-depth therapeutic training.

What support will I get?

All foster carers are allocated a supervising social worker who will visit six weekly and when you need support. Your supervising social worker will visit you regularly and at least every six weeks.

We also have a 24 hours emergency service so you are able to call us day or night.

There are support groups made up of foster carers and a supervising social worker for friendship and mutual support, and foster carers also have the Guernsey Foster Carer and Adoption Association, which organises meetings and events for children and foster carers throughout the year.

What are my responsibilities as a foster carer?

The primary responsibility of any foster care is to the child(ren) in placement and to be part of the team around the child.  Every child will have a plan that needs implementing and the carer will have a role within that.  It may be that the child needs contact with their parents and the carer would have to ensure that the child is taken there.  It may be that the child needs to be taken to various medical appointments and the carer will be involved in these. The foster carer has a crucial role in providing information about the child and how he/she is doing. The social worker for the child will need information about their physical, emotional and behavioural development. There may also be a role in providing information to the birth parent about the progress the child is making.

However, the most important aspect of the role is to provide a warm, secure stable and caring environment for children.  There are many people involved with the wellbeing of the child and his or her plan so the foster carer needs to work with that team of people and occasionally attend meetings to provide information about the child.  It is ultimately the carer who is likely to have more day-to-day contact with the child than anyone else. 

Are there different types of foster care?

  • Short term
  • Long term
  • Respite
  • Mother & baby placements
  • Remand
  • Supported lodging
  • Term time
  • Short break

Is fostering right for me?

If you can say yes to the following, then you should consider fostering:

  • I can devote time to supporting and caring for a child
  • I can be flexible with my work commitments and lifestyle and can make adjustments to care for a child
  • I feel I can offer commitment, high quality care and an ability to help a child fit into my family
  • I feel I am able to work co-operatively as part of the team around the child

How long does the foster application process take?

It can take anything from four to six months. Find out more about becoming a foster care here.


Want to become a foster carer?

Call 01481 713230 now!
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