Fostering in Leicestershire with AFA
Are you interested in fostering in Leicestershire? Find out why AFA is the best choice fostering agency to support you as a foster parent.
I want to foster in Leicestershire
Are you looking to make a positive impact in a child’s life?
Are you looking to make a positive impact in a child’s life? If so, you might want to consider fostering in Leicestershire with us at AFA. We’ve been serving the community for over 12 years and we’re actively looking for new foster parents, especially in areas such as Loughborough, Hinckley, Wigston, Coalville, Melton Mowbray, Market Harborough, Oadby, Earl Shilton, Narborough, Shepshed, and the surrounding towns and villages.
Did you know that there are many children and young people in care in Leicestershire, just waiting for a supportive and caring family like yours? In 2022, there were 1,313 children in local authority care in Leicestershire, and while 910 were living in foster homes, many more children still need homes with caring individuals like you.
Why do we need foster parents?
Foster care is needed for children of various ages and backgrounds, ranging from babies to teenagers. These children may have experienced abuse, neglect, or challenging situations such as parental substance misuse or mental health issues, death, or imprisonment.
Entering foster care during these circumstances is a traumatic experience, so it’s crucial to maintain communication between the children and their families and friends, while also enabling them to continue attending their local schools. Although fostering can be challenging, it is also highly rewarding, particularly when children achieve progress and growth in areas where they previously struggled.
Who can be a foster parent?
We’re eager to hear from individuals and families from all backgrounds who have a passion for helping children grow and thrive. We’re open to all types of families, whether you’re single, a couple, married or unmarried, with or without your own children, and no matter your sexual orientation or gender identity. It doesn’t matter if you rent or own your home.
To apply to become a foster parent, you just need to be over 21 years old, have a driving licence and access to a car, and have a spare room for fostering (here’s why). It doesn’t matter if you rent or own your home.
We believe that every family has something special to offer, so as long as you have some childcare experience and a strong desire to help children, you could be a good fit for AFA. Our comprehensive and high-quality training programme will equip you with all the skills you need to succeed.
Interested? Dig into our website to find out more and take the first step in making a difference. We are looking forward to hearing from you!
Get in touch to find out more about fostering
Why choose AFA Fostering in Leicestershire?
At AFA Fostering in Leicestershire, we’re more than just a fostering agency – we’re a family! Our directors, Nigel and Graeme, together with our registered manager, Toni, and all of us at AFA, are passionate about providing the highest standards of care to children and young people in care.
We believe in getting to know both the children and our foster parents on a personal level, to ensure that each child is matched with the family who can best provide them with a stable, supportive, and loving environment. Our values of “Quality, Integrity, Respect” underpin everything we do, and as an independently run agency, you can trust that the children’s welfare is always our top priority.
Remember, we’re here to support you every step of the way. Our experienced team is available 24/7 to provide help, advice, and a listening ear, and through our comprehensive training and support programme, you’ll gain the confidence and skills to make a real difference in a child’s life.
Why Choose AFA?
Meet some of the fostering social workers who support our foster parents
Want to hear from some of our own? Meet Jag and Nikki, two of our fostering social workers, and learn more about what fostering with AFA is like. If you’re looking for an opportunity to give back, grow, and make a lasting impact, consider fostering with AFA in Leicestershire. Let’s make a difference together!
“For those children who need it, fostering makes a real difference and has positive outcomes. In my experience, fostering offers a more balanced life.”
Nikki, a social worker since 2012, joined AFA six years ago, attracted by our approach in providing support that best meets the needs of children and foster families. Now an assistant social work manager, Nikki says that good foster parents are approachable, respectful, polite, honest, kind, caring, and strong advocates for children, while a good sense of humour is also a plus! For those considering fostering, Nikki suggests speaking to current foster parents for a better understanding of the role beyond reading and watching adverts.
“Foster parents do well if they have a fun, open and committed personality, and if they are resilient so they don’t give up on the first hurdle. Fostering is going to be hard; it’s not going to be easy, but the rewards are huge, literally huge!”
Jag, a social worker for 22 years, joined AFA 11 years ago after experiencing understaffing and overworking in a local authority. She currently manages 11 families with 13 children across Nottingham, Derby, Leicester, and Northampton. Now a senior fostering social worker, Jag provides emotional support and reassurance to her foster families, treating them the way she would like to be treated. She encourages her families to contact her whenever they need support to prevent sleepless nights!
Here’s what our foster parents have to say…
We understand that when it comes to fostering, everyone wants to hear directly from the source. That’s why we’ve put together a collection of interviews with our foster families, who are eager to share their personal experiences and insights about fostering.
We think you’ll find these stories inspiring and it’ll give you an opportunity to get to know some amazing AFA foster parents. Enjoy!
Foster Parents Zadie & Mark
Zadie and Mark are a dynamic duo from Leicestershire. They’ve been making a positive impact in the lives of children for over seven years as foster parents with AFA. Zadie, with her background as a nursery nurse and her lifetime of working with kids, is a perfect fit for fostering. And with a spacious three-bedroom house, she and Mark wanted to fill it with love and the laughter of children.
Foster Parents Sarah & Dave
Let us introduce you to Sarah and Dave from Norfolk. These two have been fostering for AFA for six years and have welcomed a number of children into their loving home. They have four children of their own, with three who have now grown up and started families of their own, giving them ample space for fostering.
Foster Parent Alayne
Meet Alayne, a 56-year-old from Northamptonshire whose own experience as a teenager in care inspired her to become a foster parent. She was taken in by a kind family who wanted younger children but saw potential in her. This experience has stayed with Alayne, and as a single foster parent with AFA for the past four years, she has a special place in her heart for teenagers in care, especially because it can be difficult for them to find a loving foster home.
Frequently asked questions about fostering in Leicestershire.
Are you already fostering, but looking for a change?
We’re also looking to welcome approved foster parents to our fostering family. So, if you’re already an experienced foster parent and looking for an agency that truly cares, we’d love to hear from you. As a foster parent, you have the freedom to choose which agency you want to foster through. By transferring to AFA, you’ll receive the same high-quality support that all our foster parents receive, so you can continue providing quality care to the children in your care.
Our priority is always the welfare of the children, and that’s why the transfer process is carefully managed to ensure that each child is either unaffected or will benefit even more.
We fully adhere to the Fostering Network Transfer Protocol, which was agreed upon by The Fostering Network, the Joint Forum of Independent Providers, and the Association of Directors of Children’s Services. This protocol ensures that transfer of foster parents between agencies is carried out in the best interest of the child. If you’re transferring, any children you’re looking after will also be transferred with you to AFA Fostering.
What support is there for foster families in Leicestershire?
We are here to help our foster parents every step of the way. We understand that fostering can be a rewarding but challenging experience, which is why we provide the best support and training available. Our dedicated and experienced team is always available, day or night, to help you feel confident in your role as a foster parent.
You’ll receive regular supervision and consultation, as well as opportunities for training and development. You’ll also have a fostering social worker who will be there to support you throughout your fostering journey. We also offer support groups for your own children, activity days and participation groups for all the children linked to AFA, and a competitive weekly fostering allowance to cover all of your foster child’s expenses.
Our friendly and knowledgeable local staff know who you are and are always ready to help. We believe that every foster parent should be able to provide a loving home for children in their community and we are here to help make that happen. So, if you’re ready to make a positive difference in a child’s life, trust AFA to support you at every turn.
What financial support is there for foster parents at AFA?
A growing number of fostering agencies are owned by private equity companies with the sole aim of making money. This has never been our intention, and never will be.
At AFA Fostering, we appreciate the hard work and dedication that goes into being a foster parent. That’s why we offer fostering allowances that are among the most competitive in our sector. However, we believe that being a foster parent is about making a positive impact in a child’s life, not just the financial rewards. As one foster parent said:
“I don’t foster for the money, but I couldn’t do it without the money.”
Our fostering allowances consist of two parts: a reward for taking on this important role and a maintenance portion to cover a child’s everyday needs, such as food, clothing, and pocket money. While we don’t publicly share the specific amount of the allowance, our team is always available to chat with you and answer any questions you may have.
It’s important to note that foster parents are considered self-employed, so you’ll need to register with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and file an annual self-assessment tax return, and we’ll guide you through this. Also, fostering payments have special tax arrangements, so most foster parents pay very low levels of income tax on their allowances.
How can I find out more about fostering?
If you’re thinking about becoming a foster parent and want to learn more, we’ve put together these helpful links on our website:
Want to make a foster child feel at home? Learn about how to welcome a foster child into your home.
Ever wondered why a spare bedroom is required for fostering? Discover the answer in “Why does fostering require a spare bedroom?”
Case records and logs play a big role in the lives of foster children. Find out why case records and logs are so important to young people.
Choosing the right fostering agency can make all the difference. See “Which Fostering Agency Should I Choose?“
Ready to start the fostering journey with AFA? Learn “The Steps to Becoming an Approved Foster Parent with AFA“.
Want to hear from someone who has been there? Read these heart-warming words of gratitude from one of our young people as they leave foster care.
Contact us today about fostering in Leicestershire!
Get in touch with the AFA team using our contact form here or call us on 01332 813 866. Our Midlands office is based at The Millhouse Business Centre, Station Road, Castle Donington DE74 2NJ.