Fostering means caring for and supporting a child or young person in your home as their own family are not able to.
This can be for many reasons: including relationship problems, family breakdown, parent’s illness or death, as well as abuse or neglect.
Being part of a foster family helps children and young people to work through their experiences, in a safe, caring and supportive environment. Many foster children don’t often have positive opportunities or feel they have the right to a happy and healthy childhood; but all it takes is one Foster Parent to make that change.
Fostering can be the most rewarding career you will ever have, as well as the most challenging. You will be part of our team making a real difference to children who have often not experienced a loving and supportive environment. Without great foster carers, their future chances would be very different. We will help to support you enabling each child to learn, develop and grow.
Some children and young people return home, but others may need a foster family until they are adults. The most common care package at Channels & Choices is our ‘stepping stone’ program, but we do provide other types of fostering placement such as: short term, long term, and respite care.
We have written a number of helpful articles and tips about fostering which can be found on our blog located at the bottom of the page.
What is therapeutic fostering?
Therapeutic fostering means that we have a therapeutic framework which underpins the work that we do. As a foster carer with us at Channels & Choices we provide unrivalled support and training to our staff and carers. You will have the opportunity to work as part of our community, and receive training from some of the country’s foremost experts in attachment and therapeutic thinking such as Professor David Shemmings OBE.
Thinking about fostering?
If you are new to fostering in Kent or you have questions about becoming a foster carer with us please download a copy of our “Become a Foster Carer” brochure. We also have a Frequently Asked Questions section further down this page. We understand that becoming a foster carer is a big decision for anyone, and we will support you all the way through the process. Feedback from foster carers who have started their fostering career informs us that it was the unrivalled support for both them and the children which made them choose Channels & Choices. Don’t take our word for it, watch this video of some of our newer foster carers for further insight.
Here are just a few of the benefits of becoming a foster carer with Channels & Choices:
- You will have the opportunity to work as a key part of our therapeutic community. We have our own in-house school and therapy team thus there are no delays in collaborative working which ensures each child gets all the services they require.
- A professional career structure that financially rewards you as you train and develop in the role. Our carers receive between £450-£550 per week per child.
- We are the only fostering service to offer a guaranteed income. We do this through offering an opportunity for carers and potential carers to work within our therapeutic residential teams. This is also a great way to develop your skills and knowledge of working with children who have suffered trauma whilst working alongside our highly skilled group living teams.
- You will have fantastic training opportunities with some of the country’s top experts in their fields such as Professor David. Please see our free training video with David in our blog which can be accessed via the link at the bottom of this page).
- You will receive regular supervision from our very experienced qualified Social Workers and clinical support from a member of our therapy team.
- You will receive 21 nights paid respite per year.
- You will be invited to attend regular forums where foster carers can meet and share their experiences.
- You will be invited to regular fun days, events, summer schemes etc along with other foster carers and their children. This includes our annual awards ceremony, summer fun days, fire works, panto and the zoo and theme park outings.
- You will have access to an on call worker 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
- You will be treated as a professional.
- You will have direct access to the Directors and Management team.
- You will have Membership to the Fostering Network which provides advice lines for foster carers, insurance cover, discounts at shops and much more.
Foster Care Payments
We treat our carers as professionals and we pay well above the above the minimum allowances as set by the government. The amount you will receive as a foster carer will be split into two components, the foster carer fee and the maintenance allowance. The value of each of these will depend on variety of factors, such as the type of placement, the age of the child and the complexity of their needs. At Channels & Choices the fee and the allowance combination ranges from £450-£550 per week per child. Click here to visit the Government’s page on foster carers payments.