If you’ve considered fostering, but didn’t think you would be eligible – then think again.
National research found that one in ten people do not understand what fostering actually means or why children and young people are placed in foster care. We are aiming to change those perceptions and bust the myths around fostering by informing people how they can make a difference to children in care.
We are recruiting foster carers for all ages of children but currently have a need for carers who can care for teenagers and for children with a disability.
Myths about fostering
Some of the myths about fostering include:
I’m too old to foster
We accept applications from any adult over the age of 21 years. There is no upper age limit, our only requirement is that you are healthy enough and are able to meet the physical and emotional demands of caring for a child or young person.
I’d love to foster, but I’m male
We welcome single applicants of either gender. We have single male foster carers who love their fostering role and offer a high level of care to the children they look after.
I’d love to foster, but I’m gay
We welcome applications from adults who are gay, lesbian, transgender or heterosexual. Our criteria is based upon your ability to meet the needs of children in care, not your sexuality.
I’d love to foster, but I don’t own my own home
We have foster carers who live in rented accommodation or who own their own home. If you rent your home we ask that you gain your landlord’s approval to foster and that the child can have their own bedroom (unless they are under two years of age).
I’d love to foster, but I don’t have children
You don’t have to be a parent to be able to foster. We will ask you during the assessment process to share with us your experience of caring for children. This may be through work, voluntary activities, caring for family members’ children or experience of caring for step children. If you do have your own children living at home, we will carefully match foster children or young people to the needs of your family and circumstances.
I’d love to foster, but I’m single
We do not have any requirements about your marital status. Our foster carers may be single, married, in a civil partnership or living with a partner.
I’d love to foster, but, I haven’t worked with children or young people
We have foster carers from a wide range of backgrounds, including office staff, police officers, delivery drivers, shop workers, hairdressers. You don’t have to work with children to become a foster carer. We will offer you excellent training, development and support so you’re prepared for the challenges and rewards of fostering. We just ask that you’ve got some experience of caring for children or young people through your family or volunteering.
I’d love to foster, but I can’t afford to give up work
We have foster carers who work full time, part time or are home based. We do not place children below school age with foster carers who work as we want our children to have stability with one main carer. We have carers who fit fostering around work and offer short breaks to children with a disability or children on the edge of care. We ask foster carers who are approved under our specialist scheme to have one foster carer who is home based due to the complex needs of children requiring this service. We pay allowances in line with the fostering network rate. Specialist carers receive a higher rate in recognition of them being required to be home based
I’d love to foster, but it might affect my benefits
The general position with foster carers is that any payments you receive to assist with fostering will be disregarded for benefits purposes. You can get further advice from the Fostering Network website and their booklet signposts in fostering – benefits.
I’d love to foster, but I have a disability
We welcome disabled applicants. Every person who applies to foster will have a medical check. As long as you are considered medically fit to foster, there are no issues.