Please see our fostering requirements below

A spare room is an essential requirement to foster. We believe that children who are fostered must have their own bedroom, as we think it is important that they have a safe space they can call their own. If you don’t have a spare room and you wish to support children in care, please contact us and we will provide you with details of other volunteering options that might be suitable for you.

 

You can foster if you are aged 21 or over – there is no upper age limit. Each application is considered individually.

 

You can foster if you have care experience, either as a parent or in a voluntary or professional capacity. Our team can suggest organisations across Hampshire if you need to gain more experience.

 

Our foster carers each have very different backgrounds. Not all our foster carers are parents and we welcome applicants who do not have children of their own.

Lots of our foster carers have their own children or may be step-parents to children from a new relationship, and many looked after children really benefit from being in a family environment. All members of your household will be considered during the assessment and we will need to consider the wishes and feelings of your child/children and ensure it is right for them too. We will always carefully consider your children when looking at which children to place in your home.

 

Your marital status and sexuality does not determine your suitability to foster. We welcome all applicants and have a large number of single foster carers and LGBTQ+ foster carers in Hampshire.

 

You can foster is you work full-time and many of our foster carers who work full-time offer respite care at weekends. Fostering is a big commitment and we do ask that you have the flexibility to support a child or young person.

 

Fostering can be stressful and demanding and we wouldn't want you to take on any tasks that may put your health at risk. As long as you can perform key fostering activities, such as the school run or paediatric first aid (which we’ll provide training for), then we will consider your application. If you receive a Disability Living Allowance, becoming a foster carer will not affect these benefits.

 

If you smoke cigarettes/e-cigarettes/vapour cigarettes you will not be able to foster children under the age of five, or a child of any age with any health conditions or disabilities. You will also be expected to smoke outside and away from children. If you are trying to give up smoking, we need to see evidence that you have given up for at least six months before we begin an assessment. Please see your GP for advice and guidance about giving up smoking.

 

We will look at your financial situation during the assessment process as we must be certain that your household is a stable environment and that you can meet any rent or mortgage payments.

 

If you, or a member of your household, has had a criminal record it will not necessarily stop you from fostering. It depends on what the conviction was for and when the offence was committed, so please discuss this with us. We undertake a check with the Police (known as a Disclosure and Barring Service check) with all our applicants and all criminal records and cautions will be disclosed.

 

The Hampshire Hive

You won’t be on your own when you foster.

There are so many other fostering families in Hampshire, just like you, who depend on each other. The Hampshire Hive consists of a small number of fostering families who support one another in their local area, with one foster carer known as the Hive Carer Support Worker acting as the heart of the hive.

The Hive will become a support bubble for the foster families and the children they care for. Over time families within the Hive will develop close relationships, like friends and family. The Hive families will identify any potential challenges and offer support to foster carers in their Hive to ensure the child/ren they care for remain in a stable home.

Each Hive has a designated Hive Link Carer who supports with the Hive’s sleepover and day care needs.

You can read our latest Hampshire Hive blog here.

For more information about the Hampshire Hive please download our Hive leaflet.

Hampshire Hives are open to new and current foster carers. If you are applying to become a foster carer, you will be supported by your assessing social worker in applying to join a hive during your prospective foster carer assessment stage two. If you are a current foster carer, please speak to your Supervising Social Worker.

If you are interested in learning more about the Hampshire Hive, please contact hampshire.hive@hants.gov.uk

As a member of a Hive Family, you will have access to:

  • Regular support group meetings for Hive Families
  • One-to-one support
  • Bespoke training sessions
  • Sleepovers and day care for the children in your care

Meet your local Hive Care Support Worker

There are currently twelve Hives across Hampshire each led by a Hive Care Support Worker:

Orlanda

South West New Forest

I have been a foster carer since the summer of 2016. I have 2 foster children with me, and they are long-term linked and they have been with me since 2016.

Fostering is the most satisfying and challenging career I have ever had, and I love it. I was introduced to Therapeutic Parenting when I was struggling with my eldest and it helped me, and the children more than I can say, and I am now a passionate advocate for it.

Interests and Hobbies: I have had many interests over the years, from drawing and painting, dancing tango and modern jive, up-cycling furniture to metal-detecting. I also love my animals, we have 2 dogs, a cat, a mouse and 5 chickens!

More exciting times ahead comes with joining the Hive Team in April 2022. I say exciting, because the Hives are a support network that is exactly what I think carers need. Especially those that need that extra support that can often only come from other foster carers. Being a single carer with family and friends that are spread all over the place, it has been challenging on my own, but having the support of other foster parents has been invaluable as we all constantly learn from each other, and we understand the challenges of fostering.

Lisa

Gosport and Fareham

My name is Lisa and I am the Hive Carer Support Worker for the Gosport and Fareham Hive.

Myself and my wife Charley started our fostering journey in 2014 and have a range of experience in caring for children of all ages both long term and short term. We have also recently started our journey offering mother and baby placements.

When we began fostering, I think we were very lucky to fall into a support network of local, experienced foster carers who took us under their wing and showed us the ropes. I do not feel that this is always the case for many of our carers and I believe that the Hampshire Hive project will help bridge the gap by providing a more structured approach to the support being provided to each family.

Ben

Basingstoke and Aldershot & Farnborough

I am the Hive Carer Support Worker for Basingstoke and Aldershot & Farnborough Hives.

I have been fostering for 7 years and my experience is mainly of looking after teenagers in both long- and short-term placements.

Between placements we lend our support to the out of hours resource. Out of work I can be found in Church or involved in projects led by my Church. I believe that every child deserves a safe place to call home

Cloe

Waterlooville

Hello, my name is Cloe and I am a Hive Carer Support Worker for Waterlooville.

I enjoy keeping fit, swimming, entertaining/socialising, gardening, listening to music, and learning new things.

I have been a foster carer since 2016 and have welcomed many children/young people into our home from a sibling group of 5 to one individual, from 0-18 years old.

I have gained confidence and experience by attending many training courses, applying, and adapting my learning to our day-to-day life, sharing experiences, and supporting other foster carers along the way.

Our lives have been enriched by it all and we are extremely passionate in supporting children/young people to be happy, settled, loved, and achieve what they aspire to be. It is rewarding to see how children/young people can grow and develop when in the right nurturing environment. I am passionate about what I do and believe that all children/young people deserve to be happy, healthy, have a good education and succeed.

Johnny

Waterlooville

Hi my name is Johnny and I am a Hive Carer Support Worker for Waterlooville. I live with my wife Della and two wonderful foster placements. Della and I started our fostering journey in 2006. Our journey began with an IFA doing remand and prevention of offending placements. These were 12 week placements often very successful. In 2012 we moved over to Hampshire offering long term placements to teenagers. We have had lots of very successful placements since joining Hampshire’s fostering team and have enjoyed being part of their team. We have done many different types of placements since joining Hampshire. We have done; emergency placements, Out of Hours, unaccompanied asylum seekers, respite, long term and short term. We have also done a Stay Put placement. We have supported newly approved foster carers and helped one achieve a qualification in children’s services work force. I support with training; Skills to foster and Stage Two and I also support the recruitment team too. We make buddy calls to potential foster carers so that they can get a better idea of what fostering involves and how it can impact on their family. We have supported children and young people with mental health concerns too.

We have found foster care a very rewarding experience as does our family. Foster care has inspired our granddaughter to want to become a social worker. She says that this is due to witnessing the difference the care system can make for children and young people.

Estelle

Andover

Hi, I am Estelle and I am the Hive Carer Support Worker. I live in rural Hampshire, with my husband.

We have been foster carers for 16 years and have two young people in long term placement with us.

Our foster care experience has covered connected caring, caring for a child with Moderate Learning Difficulties into adulthood (under Staying Put) and caring for BAME children from a Muslim background. We are advocates of Therapeutic Parenting. As parents we have three adult daughters, including twins.

I have worked as a teacher in primary education for twenty- five years but gave it up in 2016 to become a full- time foster carer and now I am also the Hive Carer Support Worker for our Hive.

Our young people are massively into football and we spend a lot of time supporting them in this, taking them to training and matches. Sport is a great outlet for their energy and has given them opportunities to be part of a team and develop self-confidence and self- discipline.

We are great animal lovers and encourage our young people to get involved in caring for them and enjoying them with us. We have a pony, some sheep, two dogs and a few chickens

Lynda

Eastleigh

My name is Lynda and I am the Hive Carer Support Worker for Eastleigh.

I have been fostering for ten years along with my husband. We have been lucky enough to experience all ages of children, young people and parent and baby come into our care.

I am very passionate about fostering, supporting other foster carers where I can and making the children feel at home when they come to us.

Denise

Totton and Waterside

My name is Denise Brown, and I am proud to be the Hive Carer Support Worker for Totton and Waterside.

I am also a foster carer for Hampshire County Council along with my husband Chris. We are approved for three children 0-18 years and a mum and baby

We have been fostering for five years and really enjoy it. We find fostering challenging at times but also very rewarding. We have helped with many types of fostering over the years - long term, short term, respite, mother and baby, bridging and emergency placements and unaccompanied asylum-seeking children.

I have always been very passionate about fostering and have always gone the extra mile to help out by buddying and training new carers, promoting fostering and assisting recruitment too.

It just seemed so natural for me to apply for the role of HIVE Carer Support Worker as I was already part of a HIVE and benefitted greatly from the support and friendship I gained from it.

I love that I have a job where I can understand and help fellow foster carers, their families and placements with something that I am so passionate about.

Allison

Southampton

I am Allison and I am the Hive Carer Support Worker for Southampton.

I am a Level 3 carer with over 13 years’ experience in fostering and have had 64 young people to date, mainly teenagers and Unaccompanied Asylum Seekers.

I am passionate about the hive due to the wide variety of support it offers. Whether it is training either by way of delivering to the group or by 1-2-1 support/training, day care and even overnight stays for the young people/kids we care for or fun days out bonding as a group having regular coffee and a catch up at times that work for you. The Hive group is like many of our own families; lots of aunts/uncle and cousins’ type of bond. We form this small group where we can lean on one another and support each other, just like families do. You will be part of a group of carers, there for each other.

Sian

Ringwood

Hi! I’m Sian. I have lived in Ringwood for 20 years since leaving London with my husband Mark and three children, in search of more beautiful surroundings..

I enjoyed an extremely rewarding, 25-year teaching career until I decided that being a Foster Carer would allow me to make an even bigger contribution towards helping children to live positive, happy lives. Mark and I were approved in 2016 and since then, alongside our wonderful long term linked sibling family of three, we have provided lots of respite as well as supporting ‘Out of hours.’ Although we have enjoyed looking after children, toddlers to teens, I am particularly passionate about caring for teenagers. I am currently learning all I can about Therapeutic Parenting, in particular the model T.R.U.E (Therapeutic re-parenting underpinned by empathy.)

One of my favourite tasks whilst teaching was planning and supervising school outings. I pride myself in knowing that these carefully crafted trips helped young people; receive hands-on learning experiences, develop new friendships with their peers and thus broaden their horizons and knowledge. I am really looking forward to planning lots of exciting events for our Hive to enjoy together.

I am absolutely thrilled to be leading the Ringwood Hive and eager to begin nurturing relationships between children, young people and foster families to build a resilient and compassionate Hive where we can support and encourage each other.

Becki

Ringwood

My name is Becki (Rebecca) and I am the Hive Carer Support Worker for Winchester and surrounding areas. My husband Paul and I have been foster carers for nearly 20 years, working for an independent fostering agency first and then as Hampshire County carers for the past 9 years. We have cared for a wide range of children and young people, including young people with disabilities, emergency placements, out of hours and respite.

Our Hive in Winchester will be a fantastic opportunity to meet other families, connected carers and foster carer families. It will offer support and friendship so that we can all share the good times and support each other in the tougher times too. There will always be someone to talk to too, even if it is just for a chat or a coffee. There will be specific training available, planned around your needs and requirements.

Leanne

Havant and Hayling Island

I am a connected carer and I have been fostering alongside my husband Jim since 2017, we are caring for three children on a long-term basis. We also have a Special Guardianship Order (SGO) for our grandson. We felt that life had thrown us a bit of a curve ball and it was a position that we didn’t expect to be in, but it is a role that we have embraced and can honestly say we love. I’m a great believer in therapeutic parenting because although our children our connected they have still been affected by trauma. Seeing the children become successful, feeling loved and happy is the most important thing for us.

I try to play golf with my husband, although it is one of the most frustrating of sports, I’m not giving up, just yet. I took up Golf so my husband and I could do something together, just me and him.... it's our connection and gives us a chance to be just us. I also love walking, cooking and gardening.

Before becoming a Hive Carer Support Worker, I was a member of a hive. What I liked about being in a hive is being part of a group of people who are in a similar situation, being able to offer support when needed. All members have something to offer in terms of our own experiences regardless of how long we have been on this journey. I am most looking forward to getting everyone together for a bit of fun and making sure that no carer feels alone.

Pauline

Petersfield, Alton and Bordon

I started fostering as a Friends and Family carer for a friend of my two youngest sons Twenty Five years ago. I was approved as a specific carer for him. When he moved on I then became a fully approved carer. I worked for an Independent Fostering Agency for Ten years. I then moved to Hampshire Local Authority Thirteen years ago.

I am a mum of five. Eldest is now 49 and youngest 36. I have eight wonderful grandchildren seven boys, one girl. I am a single foster carer, and I normally look after teenagers.

I like to travel when I can and have visited some wonderful places. I love music and love to sing....much to everyone’s dismay!

Being part of a Hive has opened up our support network so much. Being able to have so much experience and support at your fingertips is amazing! And knowing that someone will help or have a solution to your needs so quickly is so valuable. I think the introduction of the Hives is possibly for carers one of the best things to come our way in a long time.

Heidi

Fareham

I originally started fostering for an agency and transferred to Hampshire 7 years ago, the children that have shared our home have been vast in ages from baby to young adults , I’ve experienced moving children on to all avenues.

Prior to fostering I worked in the NHS for 12 years in the maxillofacial department.

I have 3 children, 2 are now adults and our last little fledgling is 12

I love cats all cats it doesn’t matter if there the cutest fluffiest kitten or a stray cat that’s mucky, old and seen better days ,I would happily give them all a home, but my husband has drawn the line at 4 .

I enjoy the garden and will spend hours caring for it during the spring and summer, I’m not so enthusiastic in the winter though

Fostering for me is a journey that I often describe as a roller coaster ride sometimes you can just enjoy the moments , you never really what’s round the corner ,when you reach the bumpy bits you have to just hold on really tight and work through ,and most of the time it’s FUN !! that’s why after ten years were still going strong .

Before becoming a hive carer support worker I was myself part of a hive .For me it was great to be able to get together and discuss all things fostering and share things about what was going well with our young people and at times what isn’t going so well with other foster carers that could really empathise with my experiences and when appropriate offer advice and ideas .

The hive was also a great place to keep updated with all things related to fostering and I would regularly here about events , training and changes that were being made.

Sarah

Fareham

I have been a foster carer for 9 years and started fostering when I lived in Staffordshire.

I live in Denmead with my partner Emily and my cat Crinkle, and I also work for the NHS in mental health and unexpected deaths.

My hobbies include Swimming, reading, musicals and splashing in muddy puddles!

I like being part of a Hive for the friendship and support, people who really understand the life of being a foster child and a foster carer.