Right now there are children and young people in the Isle of Man, who have experienced trauma and loss, and are unable to live with their birth parents and families. They need the support of foster carers who can support them and their families to achieve stability and security in their lives. You can make a difference by becoming a foster carer with the Department and. If you've got the passion and commitment needed to make a really positive difference to a child's life we'd love to hear from you.
People who can foster
Foster carers come from all walks of life. You don’t need qualifications, your life experiences and personal qualities are much more important, as is your ability to love and care for a child. Lots of different people can foster. There are very few circumstances that will rule you out, however, you must be:
- Over 21 years of age. There is no upper age limit.
- In reasonably good health, and fit and well enough to care for children
- Able to offer a secure and stable home and understanding of the needs of children who require foster homes.
- Have a home with a spare room, or rooms if you wish to foster more than one child
Don’t rule yourself out – you can be single, married, in a civil partnership or co-habiting; being disabled does not exclude you; home owners or renting; whatever your sexual orientation or ethnic background you are welcome!
Types of fostering
There is a need for many different kinds of care for children and young people, which fall into 4 broad categories:
- Time limited placements: This is when you take a child into your home where often the plan for the child is an eventual return home or whilst decisions are made regarding their future. Timescales can be from a few weeks to many months
- Long term placements: This is when children are unable to return home and need a long term permanent home with a foster carer
- Emergency placements: This is when a child comes into care suddenly, they will remain with you usually for a short while until further plans have been made for them
- Short break placements for disabled children or Respite care placements: This is providing pre planned regular care to children for short periods of time as a support to birth families or other foster carers. These children, or their parents, may have disabilities or have significant health needs.
How the Family Placement Service can support you
We will provide you with:
- a comprehensive foster care preparation programme to help you develop your fostering knowledge and skills
- ongoing training packages through your fostering career
- financial remuneration to cover the expenses of caring for a child and a fee for the work you do
- access to out of hours helpline for advice and support
- a supervising social worker who will visit at regular intervals to support you in your fostering role
- Membership and support from the Fostering Network
- Foster Carer Forums
- Fun days and events for foster carers to catch up and meet other carers
The fostering process
Once you've made an initial enquiry we'll provide you with some more information about fostering to read and consider. We'll then come and meet with you to answer your questions and have a discussion with you and leave you an application form.
If you decide to apply we'll complete some suitability checks on you including a medical check and a Disclosure and Barring Service check.
You will be invited to a pre-approval training course which will provide further information about the needs of the children requiring a foster placement and advice about how to meet those needs. After the course we will reflect with you on what you thought about the training and what you learnt.
A social worker will be allocated to carry out a Home study assessment. This report is then presented to a Panel of experienced health, social care and education professionals who will make a recommendation regarding whether to approve you as a foster carer. The Agency Decision Maker will then make a final decision.
Soon after approval a child may come to live with you. Support is available throughout the fostering process and afterwards.