6 Common Misconceptions About Who Can Foster
With an estimated 1,300 extra foster families needed in the North West in 2016, as well as over 9,000 across the rest of the UK, we certainly understand providing the correct and most up to date information about who can foster will be a crucial factor in achieving the Fostering Network’s annual target.
As an experienced independent fostering agency we know there are many myths and misinterpretations that exist within the world of foster care, especially when it comes to the subject of foster care requirements.
Unfortunately, these misconceptions do often stop people from plucking up the courage and applying, which certainly has a devastating impact on the lives of the children and young people who desperately require loving and caring foster families.
With this in mind, we’ve decided to explore and investigate 6 of the most common misconceptions that surround the topic of who’s eligible to become a foster carer.
‘I’m interested in fostering, but I’m just too old’
Even though there is no legal upper age limit on who can become a foster carer, we regularly get asked about age requirements. The minimum age of a foster carer is 21 years old, but as long as you’re fit, healthy and can keep up with the demands of a foster child then you’re perfectly okay to apply.
We do come across many ‘empty nesters’ that still have a gaping hole in their lives and are looking to fill this void with a foster child. Whether it’s caring for teenagers who require less physical interaction and just more guidance, or undertaking the specialist role of a parent and child foster carer, we do have a wide range of foster care placements to suit all foster carers, regardless of age and physical abilities.
‘I think I’m ready to apply, do I need previous experience?’
No. To become a foster carer you don’t require any previous experience, or qualifications in looking after children, nor do you need to have children of your own. When you embark on your fostering journey with us we’ll guarantee to provide you with the highest level of support, practical training and advice you’ll need to become a comfortable, confident and fantastic foster carer.
So, rather than having experience or formal qualifications in childcare, we do base much of our initial assessments on the willingness, determination and passion that an individual displays.
‘Do I have to give up work to become a foster carer?’
No. Being able to work and foster is a real possibility when you become a foster carer with us. It really all depends on your individual circumstances as to whether you can continue working full time or part time, but the great news about fostering is that it’s extremely flexible.
With a competitive foster care allowance, as well as generous reward payments, fostering is a career like no other. The buzz, the thrill and the excitement that it supplies can rarely be found in many other career choices.
‘Because i’m single i’m worried about applying’
There’s absolutely no reason to be worried, as single people have the same opportunities as individuals who are married, widowed or in civil partnerships.
Here at Perpetual Fostering we understand families come in different shapes and sizes, with each one bringing their own magic touch to the fostering landscape. We don’t care about whether you’re single or not, just as long as you can provide a vulnerable child with a safe and secure environment.
‘Is there such a thing as a male foster carer?’
Yes. With an increasing number of male foster carers coming forward, It’s important that we reinforce the fact that there are no gender restrictions in foster care.
Whether single, married or widowed, male foster carers have the capability to become excellent role models for the children and young people within their care. They also do a fantastic job in changing the perception of the male role in domestic life.
‘I’d love to foster, but do I need to be a homeowner?’
No, not necessarily. Whether you currently have a mortgage, or perhaps you’re a private / council tenant, this will have no impact on your assessment, nor your ability to become an exceptional foster parent.
One of the very few requirements is that you’re able to provide a child or young person with safe, secure and loving environment that will improve their wellbeing, to which having a suitable spare bedroom is essential.
Now that we’ve debunked many of the myths surrounding foster care requirements, isn’t it time you got in touch to start your fostering journey? It could change your life.
To discuss your application in full, or to receive more information about foster care, contact our head office today.