Help every step of the way
Most likely! It doesn’t matter if you’re single, married, cohabiting, divorced, as long as you and/or your partner have adequate availability.
It is also helpful if you can drive and have access to a car as children often need transport to school and other activities.
You’ll never feel you’re on your own when you foster with us. Your support network will include a dedicated supervising social worker, local support groups and much more.
We work with you every step of the way and if you ever need a hand, professional 24-hour support is only a phone call away.
You’ll receive monthly visits and weekly calls from your social worker to assist you; you’ll also receive locally-based training to enhance your skills. Plus, you get financial support and invitations to regular social activities.
As many children and young people have experienced inconsistent care prior to coming into foster care, we believe that it is vital to restore a sense of security and stability for them. As such we recommend that carers have sufficient time available to meet the needs of the child and in some cases this will mean that it is necessary for the carer to be at home and not out at work.
However, we can discuss your individual circumstances with you during any initial enquiries. It may be possible for single carers to continue working while fostering if their employer or work is extremely flexible.
We welcome applications from both single applicants. The most important factor is that you have the time in your life to dedicate to a child who needs support and care.
During the assessment process, we will discuss the people in your life who can provide you with support. When fostering, it is important that you can access our service for professional support, but it is also important that you have family and friends who can also offer you invaluable support in other ways.
You can apply to foster if you do not have your own children. However, it is important that you have some experience of caring for children. This could be in a professional capacity or through caring for family member’s or friend’s children. It is also important to have some understanding of child development and how children’s needs can be met by their foster carers. Further support, advice and training can be offered to applicants during the enquiry and assessment process.
Each assessment is individual to the applicant or applicants. A general time frame for assessment, from initial enquiry to final approval is about four months. At Orchard Fostering we are the only independent fostering agency with a dedicated assessment team which means that the training and assessment can be completed within a four-month timeframe if this suits your requirements (compared to over six months with other agencies).