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
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 The child may be very withdrawn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
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
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
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
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
Are there different types of foster care?
- Short term
- Long term
- Mother & baby placements
- Supported lodging
- Term time
- Short break
Is fostering right for me?
If you can say yes to the following, then you should consider
- 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
It can take anything from four to six months. Find
out more about becoming a foster care