Have you ever considered foster care? If not, is it because you think you might not qualify to be a foster carer? There are many different myths surrounding foster care and often, they prevent people from becoming foster carers when they would be great at it! Here, we look at some of the myths, answering your questions to clear up any confusion.
Can unemployed people foster?
This is a common question, and the answer is yes. Being unemployed does not prevent you from fostering a child, and can actually work in your favour because it will allow you more time to prioritise the child. However, your financial situation will be considered when you make your application, because you must be financially stable enough to foster a child.
Click here for more information on Fostering Allowances in 2023.
Can I foster a child and work full time?
Some people think that a full-time job will mean they do not have time to foster a child. However, if you are able to work flexibly and be there for the child at all times when required, it is still possible. While of course this may be easier if you have a partner, it is still possible to foster a child and work full time as a single parent – for example if you work from home permanently.
Can single people foster?
Absolutely! In fact, in some cases it is preferable to place a child with a single carer, because some children need to be placed only with a person of a particular gender. Your relationship status does not have an impact on your fostering application; foster carers can be single, married, divorced, separated, cohabitating, or widowed, as long as they are able to put the needs of the foster child at the forefront.
Can I foster if I do/do not have children of my own?
Whether or not you already have birth children at home, you can be a foster carer. If you have children, they can help a foster child feel more at home, and provide peer support. If you do not have children, your foster agency can equip you with parenting strategies.
Do I need a mortgage to foster?
No! A foster carer does not need to be a homeowner, just to provide a stable home. As long as you have adequate bedroom space and your landlord signs off, you can foster as a renter.
Can disabled people foster?
Disabilities and medical issues do not necessarily rule a person out as a foster carer. However, your fitness to care for a child will be assessed, and if your condition will inhibit you, that may be a problem. Give us a call about your limitations to see if foster caring is right for you.
Can people with pets foster?
Yes! Rather than being an impediment to fostering, pets are often a bonus. They can be a great ice breaker when you are meeting a foster child, and can provide comforting snuggles when the child needs a friend. As long as your pet meets the foster agency’s safety guidelines, it should not be a problem.
Can a person be too old or too young to foster?
People over 25 can foster, provided they are mentally and physically fit to meet the needs of a foster child.
Can LGBTQ people foster?
Yes, sexual orientation and gender identity will not prevent you from being able to foster a child. In some circumstances, when a child must be placed with someone of a specific gender, same sex couples are the perfect option.
Can a person foster a child from a different faith background?
Our Foster families come from all different backgrounds, cultures, and religions, and it is possible to foster a child from a different background, as long as you are willing to support that child in his or her own religion, allowing prayer and the celebration of religious holidays.
Do I need a big house to foster?
No! As long as you have a spare bedroom that meets the requirements, you can foster a child. The stability of your home is what is taken into consideration, not its size.
Feel more confident about becoming a foster carer now?
Sometimes, people avoid fostering because they are afraid that they are not up to the task or that they would get too attached to the children. One of the biggest myths about foster care is that it takes a special, almost superhuman type of person to manage a foster child and deal with giving that child up once the placement is over. This is simply not true! While it is true that foster parents are often amazing people, they are not that much different from you. If you have a heart for children and you would be willing to accept a child’s past history and trauma so that you can work with that child, providing a loving, structured, supportive, caring environment, you can be a foster carer.
Children can thrive in foster care, and remember, you do not have to do it all on your own. Foster parents are supported by caseworkers, therapists, and other foster parents, working together to make a difference in the lives of children.
If you have any further questions regarding if becoming a foster carer is right for you, feel free to give us a call.
Contact us today!
Can you imagine yourself doing these fun foster family activities as a foster carer? Contact Acorn Fostering Services, where we provide top-quality foster placements for children and young people, and we are always looking for foster carers who can offer children sensitivity and care. An Ofsted approved and registered independent fostering agency, we are based in Leicester and provide fostering agency services throughout the East and West Midlands and Northern Counties.
If you think you have the life experience and qualities that would help you care for children of all types and you want to learn more about foster caring, call us on 0116 216 6040, or contact us through our website.