We've put together a list of the most commonly asked questions to help you find the answers that you're looking for. But if you do have any further queries or would just like to have a chat about becoming a foster carer, please don't hesitate to arrange a callback by submitting your details to the form on this page.
As part of the assessment process we will discuss with you which types of placement would suit you and your family best.
Whilst you do not need any formal qualifications to become a foster carer you will need the right skills and experience with children or young people, time and energy, be flexible, have good communication skills, be able to keep records, attend training, patience - a caring and understanding attitude and a sense of humour will help too.
Anyone can become a foster carer regardless of age (although we do require you are over 21 years old), marital status, sexuality, gender, residential status, religion, ethnicity or cultural background.
If you are interested in becoming a foster carer for Pyramid Care you simply need to register your interest with us via either telephone, email or arranging a callback. Once we have received this we will carry out an initial home visit where you can meet a qualified social worker and find out more detailed information and have any more questions answered. If following that initial visit we mutually agree that fostering is a positive option for you and your family you will be allocated a social worker who will carry out an assessment.
Yes, we pay our foster carers a weekly fee for each child or young person placed with them. This is made via a back payment on the 15th of each month.
The introduction of tax relief in 2003 means that foster carers in the UK do not pay tax on their income from fostering, up to a maximum tax allowance of £10,000 per year along with additional tax relief per child - £200 per foster child under 11 and £250 per foster child over 11 per week (read more). This does not affect your personal tax allowance. Since April 2003, foster carers have also been entitled to Home Responsibility Protection - a way to make sure that you do not get less Basic Retirement Pension just because you have stayed at home to look after a child.
At Pyramid Care, we pride ourselves on providing our foster carers with an excellent level of support. This includes 1 visit to your home per month for supervision and 1 independent support telephone call. We also maintain regular telephone contact at least once a week. We will also accompany you to all meetings for the child/young person placed with you when required. The support package you receive is flexible and can be increased should this be required.
The Local Authorities/Health Social Services Trusts are ultimately responsible for the well being of all children in public care. They need to find the best way of looking after these children to make sure that they receive the best possible standard of care.
Independent Fostering Agencies such as Pyramid Care CIC provide a specialist fostering service to Local Authorities/Health Social Services Trusts and we work in partnership with them. We have our own foster carers and social workers who work hard to ensure that the needs of the children placed are met to a high standard and without delay.
We discuss every placement fully with our carers and it is your decision as to whether to take a young person. We will provide you with as much information about the young person and their background as possible, including any difficult behaviour and how to manage it.
You do need to be aware that sometimes we have very little information, especially in an emergency. We would always, however, seek to find out quickly as much as possible.
Children and young people are aged from 0 - 18 and need to be looked after for a variety of reasons:
As an agency, we are able to provide high levels of service and support to foster carers and the children in placement. We can, therefore, accept children who have complex histories and may display some challenging behaviour. Our carers receive high levels of support and training from us in order to help these children, and if difficult to manage behaviour is initially displayed this usually subsides quickly with the stability and support provided by the placement.
As part of the assessment process you will receive Introduction to Fostering training. Once approved as foster carers you will receive on-going training via our comprehensive training programme. Please find a complete list of offered training here.
Fostering isn't just a job - it's a lifestyle. It is something you will do 24/7 and as such it will inevitably impact on your family life. Your children will have to share you, their belongings and home and they may have to cope with some difficult behaviour. They may also find themselves taken into the confidence of a child or young person placed with you. Families say however that despite this they enjoy fostering and that it has a positive impact on them, particularly in terms of sharing and understanding others. At Pyramid Care we believe all members of the family foster, and as such birth children are involved and supported by us as and when appropriate.