Ethelbert Childrens Services...

Where Every Child Has Mattered For More Than 35 Years
Specialist Residential, Fostering & Educational Services
For London & the South East

In the 'Fostering' Section
Wide Range of Family and Single Carer Settings
97% Stability Rate

Safe and stable placements where young people can thrive and develop

Comprehensive,, Professional Support Services

Clinical and educational psychologists

High SSW to carer support ratios

Therapeutic approaches tailored to individual needs

Outstanding 2008 - 2012

pdf file

View Report
DCFS Registered Educational Support
Primary school
Secondary school
Vocational centres

Above average results

High staff support ratios

Read More




Investor in People



City and Guilds






ISO 9002

Becoming a Foster Carer

The Career That Really Does Make A Difference


Ethelbert Fostering Services - Becoming a Foster CarerWhat is Fostering?

Fostering is a means of providing children and young people with a family life when they are unable to be looked after in their family home. This could be just for a few days, weeks, months or even years. There are many kinds of fostering, but all of them involve caring for someone else’s child, so being a foster carer is one of the most responsible and rewarding jobs you can do.

Why do children need foster care?

There are many reasons why children or young people may need to be looked after. Some parents don’t have family or friends from whom they can get help and support; others may be ill or finding it difficult to cope and need an occasional break. In some cases children have suffered neglect or abuse and cannot live at home for their own safety and welfare. There may be several different factors. However, most children and young people who are fostered do go back to their own families at some point in time.

Who can be a foster carer?

Foster carers come from all walks of life and backgrounds, just like the children and young people they care for. The main requirement is a genuine interest in the welfare of children and the ability to provide a Ethelbert Childrens Services - How to Become a Foster Carersafe, stable and homely environment in which they can thrive and prosper. There are no age limits, and it doesn’t matter whether you’re single, married, or living as a couple. We need foster carers of all ethnic origins as children do best in families that can reflect their own culture, language and religion. Disability needn’t be a barrier to fostering, but the job can be demanding, so you will need to be reasonably fit, both physically and emotionally. In fact, we are interested to hear from anyone who has time, patience, energy and resilience.

Are there any reasons why I can’t foster?

Fostering isn’t for everyone, but we won’t exclude anyone on grounds of race, religion, culture, class, gender, sexuality, age or marital status. As would be expected, in order to ensure the safety of children and young people, thorough assessments are undertaken in respect of all prospective foster carers, including police and criminal records checks. However, only certain criminal convictions will automatically disqualify you from becoming a foster carer.

ECS operate and actively promote equal opportunities and value diversity in all areas of our work and in the recruitment of our staff teams and foster carers. To support this, we are keen to increase currently under-represented sections of our communities and encourage applications from a cross-section of society, irrespective of gender, sexual identity, ethnicity, faith, age or disability.

What is foster care really like?

Ethelbert Fostering Services - Becoming a Foster CarerAs a foster carer you will be faced with situations which may be demanding and unfamiliar. As well as affecting you, they could have an impact on your partner, your own children, your extended family and your friends. Becoming a foster carer is not a decision that can be taken lightly; you must consider the impact it could have on all aspects of your life. Helping a child can be very rewarding, but it can also mean coping with challenging or disruptive behaviour; remember, they are going through major changes in their lives and will often find it difficult to come to terms with. However, once the decision has been carefully considered, the vast majority of carers that enter the profession find that the rewards and satisfactions of fostering far outweigh the problems and frustrations.

What support do foster carers receive?

Fostering isn’t something we would expect you to do on your own. All of our carers are allocated their own supporting social worker who visit regularly and help with any concerns or problems Ethelbert Fostering Services - How to Become a Foster Careryou maybe experiencing. All carers receive extensive induction and ongoing training and 24 hour emergency support is available at all times. There are also regular meetings with other foster carers and social work professionals that will assist you to develop your skills and experience as you progress in your career as a professional carer.

How do I apply?

If after reading the above you wish to take your first steps to becoming a foster carer, please telephone us on 01843 221144 for an informal chat with one of our social work team, or email us using our online enquiry form.

We will welcome your application or enquiry and will be happy to discuss any aspect of fostering with you, including the application process. Remember, you won’t be committing yourself to anything at this stage..