Looking to become a foster carer, but unsure if having a criminal record will disqualify you from applying? Here at Excel Fostering, we’ve outlined if you can foster with a criminal record in the UK through this detailed guide.
Despite popular belief, having a criminal record won’t necessarily disqualify you or a family member from becoming a foster carer. During the foster care assessment period, a part of this assessment will be to determine whether you have any previous convictions which would affect your wish to become a foster parent
However, types of criminal offences such as offences against children, sexual offences or violent crimes would likely disqualify you from being able to foster. However, your past offences will be risk assessed in the greatest detail to ensure that the right decision is made regarding your suitability as a foster carer.
Caring for a young person or child requires a specific skillset and certain characteristics. If you possess these traits but believe you cannot foster due to having a criminal record, think again as past offences do not necessarily mean that you cannot become a foster carer.
As stated above, having a criminal record does not necessarily instantly disqualify you from being a foster carer. It is dependent on the crime, how long ago the activity took place, the severity of the crime and the type of offence. These factors determine how serious the criminal act is, and whether this implies that you are not fit to take care of children.
One of the first checks that takes place when you apply to be a foster carer is a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check. This check will be conducted on anyone in your household who is over the age of 18, and it will determine if you have any offences or crimes on your criminal record. Therefore, if you do have a criminal record, it’s advised to explain this straight away at the beginning of the process so the assessors can understand this from the get-go. The DBS check will reveal this information anyway, so it’s best to get this process out the way as soon as possible.
Ready to start your career in foster care? Now you’ve learnt if you can foster if you have a criminal record, find out more about the fostering requirements, the fostering process. For more information around fostering with a criminal record, contact us today. Here, we can provide additional advice, and help you to start the application process to becoming a foster parent with Excel Fostering.