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Could You Foster
- There are a lot of myths about who can & can’t foster, but you’d be surprised about how many people are actually very suitable
- Who can foster? Could you foster?
There is no single mould or blueprint for being a good foster parent. Above all else, the main criterion is that you are able to provide a stable home, full of love, care & support!
There are lots of myths about who can and who can’t foster, but there’s a really broad range of people who can be great foster parents!
We know that people think about fostering for a long time, and many wonder if it’s the right time to make the leap or if they have the right skills and experience. Often, people delay making the decision to foster for many years and have all sorts of questions rattling around their heads about whether or not they’d be suitable or good at fostering. Sometimes, “myths” about fostering suggest to people they can’t foster when they absolutely can.
Who can foster?
- Foster parents can be single, living together or in relationships.
- They can be of any sexual orientation or gender. We welcome members of the LGBTQ+ community to foster.
- You don’t have to own your own home – you can foster if you rent as well!
- Age isn’t usually an issue. You need to be over 21, but there’s no upper limit! What matters is you have the maturity and energy and are in good enough health to be great foster parents.
- Foster parents come from a variety of ethnicities, backgrounds and faiths. There’s often a shortage of foster parents from ethnic minorities.
- People often have disabilities, physical health issues, mental health issues, and still foster. Everyone has a health check, and we think with you about the extent to which these things could impact your ability to foster children consistently well. Some conditions are extremely well managed with medication, and others less so.
- Many foster parents have been parents and have excellent experiences to bring to fostering. Many people haven’t been parents but still have loads of superb experience and transferrable skills, for example, people who spend time with children in their day-to-day life or at work. They can make equally excellent foster parents!
- Pets are often really beneficial for young people, and most of the time, pets don’t prevent you from fostering. We do need to make sure children will be safe with the pets. We can’t allow you to foster if you have a breed of dog, you’re required to register under the Dangerous Dogs Act.
- People can have some criminal convictions and still be foster parents. We take into account what happened when, why and what’s changed since. We can’t accept foster parents who’ve got a criminal record for violence or sexual offences.
We’ve had lots of foster parents with their birth children living at home. We have also had lots of foster parents who haven’t had children or whose children have now left home. If you do have children at home, we think with you about their age and the circumstances. This helps you and us think about whether fostering is right for your family.
There isn’t a single mould or blueprint of a good foster parent. Children and young people are unique, and we need different people to meet different children’s needs. What really matters is that you have the right qualities and values and have the ability to consistently support the young people in your care.