Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of our most frequently asked questions about fostering.

Some of the answers may surprise you and don’t worry if your question isn’t answered, why not contact us, we’re happy to help.

What is therapeutic fostering?2022-11-02T10:00:41+00:00

Therapeutic fostering is a term commonly adopted, but not always correctly applied. The Flourish therapeutic fostering approach is nurturing and giving an attuned and reflective experience of family life for the child. By using reflection, the young person is helped to understand the meaning of behaviours and make sense of past experiences. Read more about our Therapeutic Fostering approach. 

What does therapeutic fostering involve?2022-11-02T10:01:11+00:00

Therapeutic fostering aims to arm Foster Parents with the skills so that they are able to learn all they can about the child and understand what has gone wrong, and how they can best support the child’s emotional, psychological and social development. The overall aim is that the general wellbeing of the young person will flourish, and they will, for example, be more confident, have improved  self-esteem, become more able to enjoy and maintain friendships and engage with others appropriately.

What skills are needed to foster therapeutically?2022-09-02T13:06:23+00:00

To apply to become a Foster Parent with Flourish you will need to be flexible, honest, and resilient, have an open mind to learning new things and new ways of understanding things, and be able to consider a range of children so that, with our training and support, you can fully understand the difficulties these children have experienced, and have an active role in their healing process. The most important thing is that you can see the potential in every young person, be reliable through the tough times, celebrate the good times and offer a secure, loving and caring home for a child.

How can I get to know other Foster Parents?2022-09-02T13:08:34+00:00

Flourish organises lots of activities and events throughout the year for families and children to attend. This helps to provide positive experiences for children living within a foster family to realise that they are not alone.  We actively encourage our Foster Parents to meet regularly to build friendships, share experiences, have fun together and support each other.

What support does Flourish Fostering provide?2022-09-02T13:13:43+00:00

At Flourish we’re renowned for providing excellent levels of support to Foster Parents. Our team provides support, practical advice, guidance and understanding day and night, so you can contact us whenever you need to speak to us, 24/7, 365 days a year.

We have an active calendar of events that we organise and run throughout the year for families to take part in – these build positive experiences for foster children living within a family. We provide respite throughout the year which is an opportunity to take regular paid breaks where other Foster Parents look after your child. At Flourish we’re renowned for providing excellent levels of support to Foster Parents.

What types of children need fostering?2022-09-02T13:07:06+00:00

There are many different children and young people who are living in foster care, including babies, toddlers, children and teenagers up to 18 years old (Flourish usually works with children aged 8+ but we also care for much younger children requiring therapeutic foster care too). Children and young people in foster care come from a variety of ethnic and religious backgrounds, requiring different types of foster care placements. And while every child’s history is unique, the most common reasons that a child will come into foster care are due to neglect and abuse.

I have children, can I still foster?2022-09-02T13:07:24+00:00

Yes, you can still apply to foster with us if you have your own children living at home. In fact, it’s often quite nice for the children coming into care to have other children in the home and your own children can benefit from the experience too. However, it is vital that your own children are supportive of your decision to foster and will be part of your assessment so we can get to know them. This will help us when matching a looked after child with your family.

A foster child should not be thought of as a potential playmate or companion for your own child; just like anyone else, each child will bond differently with different people – some take a long time to form a bond of attachment so it would not be fair to expect a foster child to quickly become a friend to your own children.

Is there anything else I need to consider?2022-09-02T13:13:08+00:00

When it comes to apply to become a Foster Parent with us, your passion, attitude and commitment to making a difference in a young person’s life is what we care about. Not your race, religion, gender or marital status. However, there are some things that are essential  in order to be considered.

• You must be aged 25 years or over
• You should have a spare bedroom that a child can call their own
• You must have the legal right to work in the UK
• Full time availability (the main Foster Parent must be available for fostering full time)
• You must not have a conviction or caution that bars you from working with children
• You must make yourself available to the Social Worker who will complete an assessment of your suitability to foster

Do I need to own my own house to foster?2022-09-02T13:09:00+00:00

No, you don’t need to own your house to foster. If you rent either via a private landlord, housing association or council, we will contact them early in the assessment to ensure they are happy with their property being used for fostering. It is advisable to talk to your landlord about your wishes first.

Can you foster if you have pets?2022-09-02T13:10:20+00:00

Yes, you can absolutely foster if you have pets – in fact, there are some fantastic therapeutic benefits of having pets in the foster home and we often see great companionship between pets and children in care. Of course we do have to make sure that pets are cared for hygienically and have a suitable temperament to be around children and visitors in the home so that we can ensure the safety of the young people we place in your care. Please note, we cannot accept applications from anybody who has a banned breed in the UK, as part of the Dangerous Dog Act.

What areas do you cover?2022-09-02T13:10:38+00:00

We are  based in Kent and currently provide fostering services across the region of Kent, Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk, Cambridgeshire and parts of London. Any expansion of our services is based on the needs of local authorities for specialist therapeutic fostering, we do not grow for growth’s sake, but to provide a niche service and specially trained families for traumatised children.

How does the matching process work?2022-09-02T13:11:20+00:00

We receive lots of referrals every month from local authorities looking for suitable foster homes for vulnerable children across the country. There are a number of things we look for when matching children and young people with foster families. We start by checking the Foster Parent has availability and has been approved for the placement type and age of the child. Next, we look at the family’s matching preferences, such as gender, age and interests as well as the needs of the child and the type of care they require.

Once the initial checks are completed, we begin to look at other pieces of information on the referral, such as the child’s known history, the behaviour they’re exhibiting and any specialist care that the child may need. We carefully consider whether the young person will fit in with the family dynamic – especially with other children in the home – and your skills, training and past experiences with other young people with similar needs to understand whether you may be suitable.

How long will I have to wait for my first foster child to be placed?2022-09-02T13:12:18+00:00

If you’re approved to be a Foster Parent with Flourish, it’s difficult to put an exact time frame on how long you may wait before you welcome a child into your home as this depends on so many different factors, including the number of referrals in your area, your personal matching preferences, the needs of the children being referred and whether you’re able to meet these needs and the local authority decision.

We receive lots of referrals across our organisation and our team work tirelessly to find the right match for you, your family and the child in care. Typically a new Flourish family will only wait a matter of weeks, and some have a child placed within days.

Foster pay and allowances2022-09-02T13:14:39+00:00

Our Foster Parents are given financial payments that cover the cost of caring for children and young people (maintenance) as well as a payment for their service (professional fee). This enables Foster Parents to commit to foster parenting as a full-time career and work from their own home. The fees that Flourish provide to our Foster Parents vary according to the type of fostering that is undertaken, the age and needs of the child, and the experience of the Foster Parent themselves..

How do I apply to become a Foster Parent with Flourish?2022-09-02T13:15:55+00:00

If you’re ready to get started on your journey with us, or maybe would just like some more information, please contact us with your enquiry and a member of our team will get back you.

Apply to be a Foster Parent

Contact Us

Contact Details

Office Hours
9:00am – 5:00pm 

Flourish Fostering (South), The Cedars,
Holborough Road, Snodland Kent ME6 5PL

0808 129 5311

Office Hours
9:00am – 5:00pm 

Flourish Fostering (North), The Old Chapel,

57A Buxton Road, Stockport SK2 6NB

0161 249 9420

For general enquiries, please fill out the form below. We’ll respond as soon as possible.

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