Our foster carers answer your burning FAQs
We asked our foster carers to answer your most burning questions about fostering in Bradford, so you can make the right decision for you and your loved ones.
Who can foster? Can I foster if I’m single or identify as LGBT+?
If you would like to foster, you probably can! Hear more from Steven, Dean and Louise about their fostering experiences with Bradford Fostering:
Steven and Dean, full-time foster carers: “Don’t worry that your sexual orientation or gender identity will stop you from fostering and don't be put off from finding out more about fostering.
We don’t feel we’ve been treated any differently to any other fostering family, either during the assessment or now as approved foster carers.
We feel just as valued and respected as every other fostering family working with Bradford Fostering.”
Louise, respite foster carer: “My main concern was the financial side, being a single carer, and if I could cope with the children being in my home. I talked to social workers and other respite carers, who helped me make the decision to go for it. My life has been enriched due to the diversity of the children in my care.”
What are the minimum requirements to foster?
We ask that all foster carers are aged over 21, have a spare bedroom in their home and speak, read and write English to a good standard.
Why should I choose Bradford Fostering instead of another fostering agency?
When you foster with Bradford Fostering, you will join a community of supportive foster carers, social workers and support teams who work daily to improve the lives of young people in the Bradford district.
Alongside extensive training, you will have the opportunity to meet hundreds of other carers, who will soon become friends. To support you and provide stability for children in care, you may also choose to join our Mockingbird family programme with regular sleepovers, days out and joint training.
We offer a variety of fostering options to suit all families and individuals, from full-time, long-term fostering to part-time short break foster care, which you can fit around your daily commitments.
As part of Bradford Council, we are a non-profit organisation and all our funding is directly spent on improving the lives of children and young people in the Bradford district.
We asked Heidi, Frank, Mo and Victoria about why they chose to foster with Bradford Fostering:
Heidi and Frank, full-time foster carers: “There are very limited resources available to Children’s Social Services and we knew we were only ever going to foster for our Local Authority because we feel that Independent Fostering Agencies take away resources that could be used directly to support children in their local communities. We feel strongly that more children could be looked after near their homes and families if everyone fostered with their Local Authority rather than an Independent Fostering Agency.”
Mo, foster carer for over 20 years: “I wanted to become a foster carer to help children. I considered fostering with other agencies, but Bradford was one of the best authorities.”
Victoria, an emergency foster carer: “I worked for an IFA but placements were limited, so I decided to move to Bradford Fostering which was a good move.”
Is the assessment process difficult?
Tracy, who has fostered 7 children: “The application was straight forward. Our social worker guided us with ease through the whole process; it really helped us think about our own experiences and how we could use and adapt them.”
Jane, foster carer for 10 months: “My assessment social worker became someone I enjoyed chatting to, she was very honest and interested in my life. She listened & acknowledged how I dealt with my own challenges in a positive way, encouraging me that there are skills I could transfer when becoming a foster carer.
She was very honest in what the role involved, and gave me answers to questions or supported me in how I could get answers, always replying in a reasonable time scale.
The key is not to rush with ‘how soon’ and ‘why’ questions. Enjoy the process. Do not overthink things, and make sure you understand everything. It worked very well for me and I looked forward to our interviews.
Bradford Fostering needed to understand all areas in my life - it was not a personal criticism to me if they challenged my answer. I never felt judged. I honestly felt my assessing social worker did not want me to fail. A very positive process.”
What is the fostering community like?
Deborah, Mockingbird liaison officer: “Fostering can be quite an isolating task, but being part of a close community of carers lifts you up as a carer.”
Linda, full-time foster carer and winner of the Best Support Carer in Bradford award in 2018: “You learn every day but training helps, as does chatting with other carers. I regularly join coffee mornings and chat to other carers, both about difficulties we face with behaviour and also activities to do with the children. The foster carer community is happy to assist each other.
Hazel and Michelle, respite foster carers: “The fostering community in Bradford is very friendly and welcoming. There is a fostering Facebook group, with lots of support and advice from experienced foster carers, as well as the admin for Bradford Fostering on there.”
Kaleem and Aisha, short-term foster carers: “We think of other carers as extended family. Foster carers try hard to support one another and there is a good sense of community among Bradford carers.”
Wendy and Michael, foster carers for over 15 years: “Foster carers are a great support to one another. It’s good to do everything you can to get to meet other carers and learn from them.”
Victoria, an emergency foster carer: “We have met a few foster carers in Bradford that we now consider as friends, they all seem lovely.”
Why is fostering so important?
Gina and Pete, foster carers for over 30 years: “It’s important that children know that somebody wants them and loves them.”
Tariq and Irum, full-time foster carers: “What really pushed us to apply was a desire to make a proper difference to the life of one child.”
Louise, respite foster carer: “The most rewarding thing is seeing the children becoming independent and gaining self-esteem and confidence.”
Would you like to learn more about fostering with Bradford Fostering?
Book a call back to speak with a member of our friendly team about how you could care for a young person in the Bradford district.