Become a Foster Carer
We Need You! – Help make a positive change to a child’s life by fostering
- It’s a Hugely Rewarding Career Choice
- There’s a Big Demand for Foster Parents
- We Provide all the Training you Need
- You’ll get Extensive Support and Guidance
- We Pay Generous Allowances and Fees
- We have Short and Long Term Placements
- Babies, Children and Teenagers Ages 0 to 18
Start Your Foster Parenting Career with Horizon
At Horizon we are acutely aware that without you we would not exist, without you we could not offer the range and level of support that we can to children in need.
You can make a huge difference to a child’s or young person’s life; you can help them to make positive changes to their lives and at the same time enhance your own.
We are aware that becoming a foster carer will change the way you live your life, you’ll become aware that you are responsible for someone else’s well-being.
You should also remember that you are not alone in this task; we are always there to support you and your family in helping to rebuild young lives.
You will at times find fostering challenging, but it can also be hugely rewarding, not just in terms of what you give but also in what you get back.
At Horizon we really do value our carers and we do all we can to support them; if you would like to know more please do contact us.
If you are thinking about becoming a foster carer, you have come to the right place!
Foster carers are just like you and I, they are ordinary people performing extraordinary tasks. At Horizon we know that looking after other people’s children can be challenging, but it can also be very rewarding.
We need people from different backgrounds with different life experiences to look after children from 0 to 18 years. You can choose the age group of the children you wish to look after and we will be on hand to advise you.
From your first contact, you will find us to be friendly, supportive and helpful. We know that some people will need help in understanding the fostering task, and that not everyone who enquires about becoming a foster carer will go on to become one.
Helping you make the right decision in fostering
We would rather help you reach the right decision early on in the process, even if that decision is not to proceed.
If we do proceed we will guide you through the process which usually takes about 3 to 4 months.
We will help you to complete the application form and arrange for a social worker to visit you for an initial assessment – usually about 1 hour.
If the outcome is that we both want to proceed, we will start the full assessment.
The Extensive Support we Provide for our Carers
As one of our foster carers you will be very well supported by our team and you will have your own supervising social worker, who will visit you regularly and provide support.
- High quality, comprehensive, preparatory and continuous training.
- Regular contact and visits from your supervising officer.
- Six weekly foster carers support meetings.
- Access to 24 hour telephone advice and support.
- Support for the children of foster carers.
- Competitive fostering allowances.
- Paid respite every year.
- Membership of The Fostering Network and FosterTalk.
- Festival allowances.
- Annual foster carers appreciation event.
If you are unclear about any of the above, please do not hesitate in contacting one of our staff.
Foster Carer Requirements
Provided there is a favourable response to background checks – anyone can potentially become a foster carer. We provide comprehensive training and ongoing supportto you and your family, which starts from your first contact with us. It is important to remember that the rewards to be gained from fostering can be immeasurable and we also give you a generous allowance.
- We need carers from various backgrounds, and you do not need any formal qualifications.
- You must be able to provide a bedroom which can be used exclusively for the child. We need people who have the space and time in their lives to welcome children into their homes. You do not need to own your home but you would need the permission of the owner. You do not need to live in a house; many of our carers live in flats.
- You do not need to have a partner to become a carer, but if you do have a partner it must be a joint application.
- As you might imagine a lot of the children and young people referred to us may be worried, anxious, angry or scared. We are looking for people with the ability to understand how this may influence their attitude and behaviour, and why children who have been neglected or abused still want to see their abusers.
- We need people who can offer children and young people the opportunity to experience a stable family life, and who can help to rebuild young lives.
As you might expect, caring for other peoples’ children is a task which is heavily regulated. The main legislative framework relating to the provision of foster care comes from:
- The Children Act 1989.(CA 1989)
- Fostering Service Regulations 2002 (FSR 2002)
- Care Standards Act 2000 (CSA 2000)
Underpinning all of the above is an attempt to protect and promote the best interests of children and young people.
At Horizon we take our role in protecting children very seriously, and will make every effort to ensure that the people we approve are suitable to care for children.
We are required to carry out police checks on all applicants and anyone over the age of 16 living with, frequently visiting or staying overnight with the applicant.
The assessment of potential carers also involves a medical examination by your GP and checks with your Local Authority.
Need to Know More? – Just Give us a Call
What Our Carers Say About Fostering
Our foster carers tend to be very realistic in their views about fostering. We can always rely on them to tell it ‘like it is’, some will say that they have found it challenging while others will say that the child or young person fitted in to their family and lifestyle without any difficulty. Read our carer testimonials…
It’s worth it?
There is no doubt that fostering a child or young person can be challenging, but even those who did, also found it hugely rewarding.
We have had carers say that ‘it was hard work to begin with, but the outcomes made it all worthwhile’.
Others say that fostering has changed their lives in ways they had never imagined; they felt fulfilled and proud of their role in helping to change a young person’s life for the better.
Support is available
Our foster carers say that knowing that they are never alone in what they set out to do is very reassuring.
They know that we are always on hand to support them in any way that we can.
Many of our foster carers say that the reason they choose us, and choose to stay with us, is because they can always rely on us to be there if they need support.
Our carers said that our practice of giving new carers the opportunity of being ‘linked’ with more experienced carers, was a very good one and they found it helpful. Our carer’s also said that they appreciated the opportunity of being able to meet with other carers, which they can do every 6 weeks.
We are proud of our carer’s achievements and we want them to know that we appreciate their commitment and hard work. This year and every year we organise a ‘thank you’ end of year event, which is always a great success.
If you are interested in fostering, then feel free to get in touch – we’ll be happy to answer any questions