There are plenty of misconceptions about fostering and what it takes to become that special person that can change the lives of children and young people.Advertisement
There is no experience quite as rewarding as providing a safe and secure space and essential care services to children and young people in need. As a professional foster carer with an independent fostering agency such as Excel Fostering, you will be making a real difference by helping children to develop, grow and reach their full
It is estimated there are around 80,000 children in the UK who are currently in care. There has never been a more crucial time for more foster carers. Maybe fostering is something that you have already considered, or perhaps you never had before reading this.
1. I don’t own a home
You do not need to own your home – it is very acceptable for it to be a rented property; however, you do have to check with your landlord before applying to become a foster carer and have them provide approval for foster children in their property.
2. I’m too old or too young to foster
At Excel Fostering, we have a lower age limit of 21 but that is mostly about maturity. There is no upper age limit. There are, however, health requirements. If you are in good health, mentally and physically, and have a high energy level, spare room, and the time to meet a child’s needs then you are welcome to apply.
You just need to show you have the experience, ability and dedication to make a difference to a child’s life.
3. I’m single
Foster carers are not required to be married. They need to have a desire to look after children and young people and help them work toward a brighter future. Single men and women are welcomed and encouraged to become foster carers.
There are foster carers from all walks of life – single and in couples.
As long as you have the skills and dedication to provide care and love for children and young people then your marital status doesn’t matter.
4. I would love to foster but I’m LGBTQ+
Of all the components that go into becoming a foster carer, your sexual orientation is not on the list. A person’s sexual orientation or gender identity has no bearing on their ability to provide a loving home for a child or young person.
Any placement is discussed with both the child and the foster parent before it happens and whether you’re male or female, gay or straight, bisexual or transgender it is not an issue… Learn more about LGBTQ+ fostering.
5. I want to foster but don’t want to give up work
Working alongside fostering is possible – however, fostering is often considered a full-time job, so if you want to remain in your current job, this will need to be assessed during the application process. For example, if you are fostering as a couple and one person remains working while the other takes care of the children, this may be acceptable – depending on your circumstances. For more information, read our guide Can I Work and Foster?
6. I don’t have my own children so don’t have the experience to foster a child
Experience is not required to be a foster parent. Not everyone has children. This does not mean that you don’t have all the necessary mental, physical, and emotional equipment necessary to foster a child.
If you can show that you’ll be able to provide the care that fostered children need, then you’ll be considered.
7. I have pets, so I can’t become a foster carer
Pets are considered therapy pals for children in care so the first response to this myth is that you can become a foster carer if you have pets. Find out more here.
8. I am disabled so cannot take care of a foster child
Not all disabilities disqualify you from fostering. While there is an emphasis on good health for foster carers, disabilities are not necessarily disqualifiers. If fostering will not put your health at risk, a disability will not prevent you from being a foster parent. There are expectations that must be met and if you can perform typical daily activities and attend necessary meetings, your disability will not be a preventative factor in fostering.
9. I have children of my own
Your ability to provide the care that your child/ren requires and that the foster child needs will be considered. It is important that you are not overwhelmed and that neither your children nor the child in care is left wanting, or needing, more attention and care than you can provide.
10. It will take too long to be approved as a Foster Parent
Becoming a foster carer with Excel Fostering is easier than you might think.
The process takes around four to six months from when you first get in touch to let them know you’re interested in becoming a foster carer to when Excel Fostering welcomes you to their fostering family.
We are always looking for loving and dedicated people to join our team and help make a difference to children and young people in the local area. If you are 21 years of age or over and have a spare room, you could apply to foster with us.
Feel free to visit https://www.excelfostering.com/ for further information about fostering, or alternatively, give us a call on 01253 712734 and we’ll be more than happy to help.
*Figure is from the Children looked after in England, including adoption: 2018 to 2019 report.
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