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L'înformâtion et les sèrvices publyis pouor I'Île dé Jèrri

Fostering: how to become a foster carer and support available to you

​Fostering: providing a stable family life

Fostering is a way of providing stable family life for children and young people who are unable to live with their parents for a period of time.

Foster care placements can last for days, months or even years. Many children return home to their families but others may receive long-term support through continued fostering, adoption, residential care or by being helped to live independently.

Different types of fostering

There are different types of fostering that you can specialise in:

  • full time
  • short breaks
  • short term
  • emergency
  • long term

Who you can foster

We’re always looking for foster carers for:

  • teenagers 
  • sibling groups
  • young people moving to independence 
  • parent and child
  • children with specific cultural, language and religious needs 

The type of people we need as foster carers

Fostering is about being able to respond to a child and help them thrive. We are looking for people who:

  • have a stable home life
  • are flexible with their time
  • are good listeners
  • are able to provide guidance and reassurance

Jersey has a diverse community and this needs to be reflected in the carers we train and approve. It doesn’t matter if you are married or single, gay or lesbian, young or old, have children of your own or not.

Fostering if you work full time

You can still work with us if you work full time, but it may restrict what you’re able to offer a child as a foster carer. 

Connected person carer

When it isn't appropriate or safe for a child or young person to remain in the care of their parents we will always ask family members to provide alternative care in the first instance. We call this a connected person carer. 

A connected person carer can be a:

  • grandparent
  • aunt
  • uncle
  • brother
  • sister
  • step parent

The connected person is only assessed for a specific child.

Foster carers who are not connected person carers, are assessed on the basis that they might care for a number of children over a number of years with no prior relationship to these children​.​​

Applying to become a foster carer 

 Applying to become a foster carer is an in depth process but we will provide guidance and support at every step. 

First visit

A member of staff will firstly arrange a visit to view your home, meet all the members of the household, have an in depth discussion about fostering and answer any questions you may have. 

If you want to proceed, you’ll be asked to complete an application form.

Download an enquiry form for a first visit (size 130kb)​

Medical and criminal checks and a full assessment

After completing the application form, you will be allocated a qualified social worker who will complete a full assessment on you and your family. We will need to carry out checks on anyone in the household over the age of 16, even if you are not the main carer.

Your criminal and medical history will also be checked, alongside references. A previous criminal conviction would not necessarily disqualify you from fostering; it would depend upon the nature of the conviction and when it occurred. 

You should discuss any previous convictions with us as soon as possible so we can decide how it might affect your application. 

Training courses

You will also be asked to attend the ‘Skills to Foster Training Course’.

Fostering panel

Once your assessment is completed, an independent panel will review your application and make a recommendation as to whether to approve you as a foster carer.

Choosing who you foster

Before you are approved and appointed as a carer with us, you will discuss with your social worker which children would be the best match for your family. For example, which age group, sex and how many children you can foster. 

Before every placement, we will provide you with as much information about the child or young person and their background as possible, including any difficult behaviour and how to manage it.

Support available for foster carers

Support is available for foster carers 24 hours a day for 365 days to help with any issues you may have.

Financial support for carers

All foster carers receive a boarding out allowance depending on the age of the child they look after. This allowance provides for day to day expenses, eg food, clothing, pocket money and nappies.

Depending on the skills, experience and the type of placement a carer can offer, we will also pay a carers fee. The social worker who undertakes your first visit will provide you with more information

Download the fee structure for foster a child (size 87kb)

Download a guide to boarding out allowances (size 72kb)

Tax information for foster carer payments (taxes and your money section) 

Other types of support for carers

We also support foster carers through:

  • tailored training programmes to enhance your skills and experiences
  • an allocated social worker who will work with you on a one to one basis
  • membership to ‘Foster Talk’
  • regular support groups
  • access to support workers
  • respite care
  • support for sons and daughters of foster carers
  • financial support
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