Becoming a foster carer is a big decision for everyone, and we are often asked a number of questions as people decide if it is the right path for them to take.
From queries about if you can foster a child if you are single, to if you can foster and rent, we have been asked them all – and are always keen to be able to give prospective foster families all the information they need, at their fingertips, as they start this journey.
However, some of the most frequently asked questions we get is if you can choose who you foster. Queries include if you can choose the age of the foster child, or even decide for how long the foster placement will be for. That’s why we’ve put together this informative guide – answering all questions related to choosing foster children.
Children in the foster care system come from a wide range of ethnicities, races, religion – and all have different reasons for needing foster carers who can offer support and a secure, loving environment. These children can vary in age too, and many who find themselves in care are 10 years old, or older.
Foster carers are assessed by our experts and then approved to care for children either from birth to the age of 18, or from the age of five to 18 years old. They also need to be approved to care for both genders.
On occasion, foster families inform us that they have a preferred age range to care for, which will always be taken into account. This could sometimes be due to family issues, or a number of other circumstances. It’s worth noting though that, as a carer, you will only receive a fostering payment for when you have a child on placement with you – so being specific about age ranges can narrow your availability, which would then, in turn, narrow your ability to foster.
By specifying the age ranges you’d like to foster, this could possibly mean that you would have to wait longer for a suitable placement, against carers open to all ages and not putting in requests for choosing foster children.
Yes – it is possible to foster more than one child. This can come occur through a number of different circumstances, such as being asked to help foster sibling groups. This is a common route into fostering more than one child, as we look to place children from the same biological family within the same foster home. We do this to help alleviate trauma, help them comfort each other, and also this creates consistency and security for the children.
Another way our foster carers could have more than one child, is by requesting more than one placement at the same time. This is common for foster carers to do, however it only takes place following an assessment by our experts to ensure that the child already in the foster home will cope well with a new child entering the environment.
A foster carer may also have their own biological child and similar to above, assessments will be made before any placement to ensure that both children will be able to cope with the change and that the fit will be right for the whole family and situation.
Our fostering team will always try to ensure each foster care placement is well matched, and this includes any cultural, ethnic and religious beliefs. There is a diverse range of children needing fostering and parents should be prepared to care for children from across all ethnicities.
The length of time you may be fostering a child for can vary, depending on a number of different circumstances. An emergency placement could be just for a few days, or even a few hours – but there are carers who take on a placement for a number of years. This is called long term fostering and means the child receives more consistency and could even stay until reaching adulthood, and becoming a care leaver.
Our experts will be able to speak to any prospective foster carers to find out the right type of fostering for you and help decide on the right type of fostering placements to suit you.
For more of our most frequently asked questions, check out our informative myth busting article – ‘can I foster if…?’.
Contact us today to make an enquiry, or to find out more information about fostering.
If you’ve got any questions or would like to find out more about fostering with Capstone, fill out the form below.
An experienced fostering advisor from your local area will then be in touch.