7 Myths About Fostering
Our foster cares come from all sorts of backgrounds, occupations and areas. They all have unique traits that make them great carers. But as different as they all are from one another, one common thing unites them – they’re all fantastic carers providing safe and secure environments for children and young people who most need them.
We speak to people considering becoming foster carers every single day and one thing we notice is how many misconceptions that aspiring carers have heard about the process. So in this piece, we’ll separate the fact from the fiction and dispel common fostering myths.
Myth 1: You Have to be Married to Foster
No. You absolutely do not have to be married to become a foster carer. You could be married, cohabiting or happily single. It doesn’t matter. We have a number of single foster carers providing wonderful placements for young people across the North West and West Midlands
Myth 2: Old People Can’t Become Foster Carers
We’re often asked by people whether they’re too old to become foster carers. Our answer is invariably the same – nobody is too old to foster. There’s no maximum age limit. In fact, life experience can often be a real positive when it comes to caring for a young person who is experiencing a difficult time in their life.
Myth 3: You Can’t Foster While Working
This one’s a little more complicated. In many cases, our foster carers continue to work or are in households where at least one person is working full time.
Some more complex placements may require that a foster carer is not working but we’ll discuss specific requirements with each new carer.
But your becoming a foster carer doesn’t automatically mean having to give up your job.
Myth 4: Fostering is a Voluntary Service
Fostering pay ranges from £127 to £450 per week typically (more in some very specific cases). And foster carers also benefit from tax relief.
It’s not like a job in the sense that it’s not a thing you can just switch off from when you get home at the end of the day. And it certainly takes more commitment than an office 9-5. But you will be financially compensated for your commitment in caring for a young person.
Myth 5: The Application Process Take Years
So there is an in depth application process and assessment requirement. But it doesn’t take years. It can take months and you will be visited at your home over that time. The checks required involve a health report from your GP, a criminal background check, checks on your eligibility to reside in the UK and we also collect character references.
That process might seem a little intimidating. But of course we have to ensure the homes we place children in are the right ones. But it doesn’t take years. It can often be completed in a matter of months.
Myth 6: Lesbian, Gay and Transgender People Cannot Foster
This is a complete fiction. Sexual orientation does not matter at all in the fostering process and LGBTQ+ people are in no way discriminated against in the process. Our agency, like so many others, welcomes a diverse range of foster carers and actively encourage LGBTQ+ applicants.
Myth 7: You Need a Big House to Foster
While it is true that you need to have a spare bedroom to foster, you do not need a big house.
What Makes a Good Foster Carer
When it comes to looking for foster carers, we’re looking for a range of people with different qualities. But everyone who applies does so because they genuinely care about the well being of children and young people. We find carers benefit from patience, resilience and adaptability.
Fostering can be incredibly rewarding. And yes, it has its challenges. But we’re really proud to support a diverse range of carers in the West Midlands and North West and hope to welcome you too!
Want to know more about fostering? Contact us.