There is no such thing as a typical foster carer and we welcome enquiries from a range of people. We are interested in what you can bring to a child’s life. However, there are a few basic criteria you must meet if you are interested in becoming a foster carer.
Falkirk Council wants children and young people to stay within their local community so they can maintain links with their families, friends and school. It is therefore preferable for applicants to live within the Falkirk Council area or within 25 miles.
All enquirers must be aged 21 years or over and ideally have experience of working with or caring for children. There is no fixed upper age limit but you need to be fit and healthy to foster.
Single people, couples who are married, in a civil partnership or co-habitating can apply. Couples must have lived together in a stable relationship for a minimum of three years. Single people must be able to demonstrate they have a support network of family and/or friends who live close by and will offer assistance if a child is placed.
Applicants need to have a spare bedroom. You do not need to own your own home to foster but mortgage or landlord checks will be undertaken.
You may or may not be in paid employment however ideally a carer should be available during the day to meet and prioritise the needs of a child placed. Interim fostering in particular involves appointments and meetings that will happen during the day and may be held at short notice and it is important that a carer is available to attend these.
Applicants and members of their household over 16 years old will be subject to the following checks:
- Disclosure Scotland/PVG check;
- Medical check;
- Local authority checks for any areas the applicants have lived in since they were 16 years old;
- Health Visitor/School enquiry – if an applicant has a young or school age child the Health Visitor or School may be contacted for an opinion;
- General internet checks – this includes checking any information on the applicant that is held in the public domain, such as social networking sites;
- Ex-partners – checks may be carried out with ex-partners.
Enquirers with a previous criminal conviction must disclose this. Any offences involving children or young people or serious violence will preclude assessment as foster carers. Other offences will be discussed with the applicant and will not necessarily preclude them from the fostering assessment process and approval as foster carers.
You may or may not be in paid employment however a carer should be able to be available during the day to meet and prioritise the needs of a child placed. Interim fostering in particular involves appointments and meetings which occur during the day and may be held at short notice and it is important that a carer is available to attend these.
Falkirk Council will consider applicants who are already approved by another Fostering Agency and wish to move to Falkirk Council’s Fostering Service.