Who can foster?
Many people who enquire about fostering are often not sure if they are the right ‘type’ of person or family to foster. There is no type or a perfect foster carer.
We need foster carers from all different walks of life, ages and cultures to match the different needs of the our children currently in care.
There are some things you will need to consider, such as:
- You need to be age 21 years or over, we have many foster carers in their twenties and even in their seventies
- You must be able to offer a child their own bedroom so a spare bedroom is required in your home. This should not be one of your children’s rooms who are now at university and may return home during holidays etc. or a room you may offer for your grandchildren or family friends for sleep overs. It needs to be a real spare room
- If you'd like to foster as a couple, you must demonstrate that there is permanence and stability in your relationship. You need to have lived together for at least 2 years. Couples can be heterosexual or same sex, married, unmarried or in a civil partnership. You can of course also be single to foster
- If you are wishing to continue with work, you will need to be flexible to meet a child’s needs in transporting to and from school, medical appointments, meetings, contact with family and also be available for any school breaks
- Enquiries from people with disabilities or those with health problems are welcome. All prospective carers will undergo a medical with their own GP who will advise our service if they feel you are ‘fit to foster’
- A non-smoking environment is expected for all children in care, including inside your home and car. If you, or anyone in your household smokes, you will be unable to care for a child under the age of five
- For applicants with pets, you will need to demonstrate they pose no danger to a child. We will carry out ‘pet assessments’ as part of our assessment of carers
- If you, or anyone in your household, have a criminal record - your enquiry will be considered on the seriousness of the offence, how long ago it took place and how you have lived your life since. A criminal conviction does not necessarily prevent you from fostering, however, offences involving violence, drugs and alcohol or of a sexual nature will be looked at very seriously and may prevent you from fostering
There will be many more questions and areas that we can cover with you at our information sessions and during the home visit to you to discuss your enquiry in more details. You can also request an information pack which includes an expression of interest form.
Once you have had a read through or been along to one of our events you can complete this to take the next step into the fostering process.