Frequently Asked Questions

If you have read this far you are probably giving serious consideration to fostering as a career.

As you realise, it is a huge, life-changing decision and you’ll want to know a lot more about it. Have a think and then get in touch. We will provide further information on anything you need to ask.

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions:

Can I/we foster?
  • Foster Carers need to undergo rigorous training and comprehensive checks such as medicals and police checks-this is a requirement by law.
  • You will also need to have a full UK driving licence and a car; this is for transporting young people to school and contacts etc.
  • Children who are looked after will require their own bedroom; so you must have a spare room available for fostering.
  • You will need to be able to commit to training and recording (support is offered)


I’m a single man, can I foster?
  • Yes, all Foster Carers undergo a thorough assessment
  • Safehouses has a keen matching policy that aims to keep foster carers and young people safe.
  • We wouldn’t refer a young person to you without assessing risk prior to contacting you.
  • There is regular support and supervision for all foster carers-this is what sets us apart from other agencies. 
Do foster carers get paid holidays?
  • Safehouses offers 2 weeks paid respite for Foster Carers, you are effectively paid 54 weeks allowance (subject to child/ren being placed) over a 52 week period.
  • This is a flexible arrangement which enables the Foster Carers to ‘buy-in’ support should it be needed and appropriate.
Am I too old/young to foster?
  • Ideally, Safehouses are looking for families over 30 years of age however, there are other factors such as life experience, training, knowledge and skills that are also taken into account. So please call us to discuss if you are under 30 and are interested in Fostering.
  • Safehouses has no upper limit on age however, matching a placement is dependent on being able to meet the young person’s needs which would be discussed at several points on your ‘journey to fostering’. Please feel free to contact us for further discussion.
Will fostering affect my own children?

Yes, fostering is not only ‘a job’ but it is a lifestyle that impacts on the whole family. It is important for you to have discussions with your family and in particular, members of your household if you are considering becoming a Foster Carer.

What if I feel out of my depth?
  • The team at Safehouses are very experienced and able to support you-some of the team have been Foster Carers themselves so can offer sound advice and guidance.
  • Safehouses provides a 3 day preparation course for potential foster carers ‘Skills to foster’. This gives potential carers the opportunity to explore what they can expect when they become Foster Carers, this enables applicants to make an informed choice whether to continue to pursue Fostering.
  • Safehouses has a robust assessment process which further supports and informs applicants during the process.
  • Safehouses are very keen on the ‘matching process’ when referring children to Foster Carers. We believe that if we can get it right at this point this will reduce the risk of a placement breakdown which is a disruption to both the young person and fostering family.
  • Once approved as a Foster Carer you will be allocated your own Supervising Social Worker (SSW). Safehouses provides regular supervision, support and training-the SSW’s have a relatively low caseload so they are able to offer the support needed. In addition there are regular meetings within the team so anyone at the office will have a handle on what is going on. This is something we pride ourselves on and that larger organisations tend not to be able to offer-you are more than ‘just a number’ to us so the service you receive is personal.
  • Safehouses has an out of hours service where support and advice is available 24/7 hours a week 365 days a year so you are never alone should you require assistance.