Often when deciding whether to foster, there are misconceptions that can cause roadblocks in people’s minds. Mistaken myths about your sexual orientation, medical history, relationship status and more are often reasons why people don’t pursue a career in foster care. That’s why we’ve put together the top 10 fostering myths to ‘myth-bust’ these misconceptions!
Top 10 fostering myths
1. “I can’t foster because I’m single”
Being single does not prevent you from being able to foster. Fostering as a single parent may take a little extra energy, as you won’t have the support from a partner, but it’s definitely possible to foster as a single parent. Read more about fostering as a single parent from our helpful guide.
2. “I can’t foster because I don’t own a house”
You do not need to own a house in order to foster – if you are renting your property, this is not a quality which would deem you unable to foster. However, you will need to demonstrate stability if you are renting a property, and this property must have a spare bedroom in order to comply with the fostering requirements to become a foster carer.
3. “I can’t foster because of my sexuality”
Sexual orientation is not a consideration when determining eligibility for foster care. Whether you are gay, bisexual, straight or other, this will not affect your ability to become a foster carer. Fostering requires a specific set of character and personality traits – but sexual orientation is not one of those requirements.
4. “I can’t foster because I’m retired”
There is no upper age limit on fostering. As long as you are fit and healthy, and also able to care for younger children, whether or not you are retired will not affect your ability to foster. Fostering is always often deemed as a full-time career – so being retired means you will have more time to provide attention to the young children in your care.
5. “I can’t foster because I have a baby”
Having a new baby in your home will not necessarily prevent you from being able to foster. However, your current situation will be assessed – meaning that it is ensured that you are able to provide care to both your new-born and the foster child under your care. As a new mother, this can often be overwhelming – so assessments will be carried out to make certain fostering is the right path for you at this stage.
6. “I can’t foster because I 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. Learn more about whether you can foster and work from our informative guide.
7. “I can’t foster because I have pets”
Having pets will not prevent you from being able to foster. However, with having pets around young children in your care, there are some guidelines that will need to be adhered to. You will need to ensure your pets are healthy, the gardens are kept clean and the pets are kept under control.
8. “I can’t foster because I’m disabled”
Having a disability or medical problem will not necessarily prevent you from fostering. The nature of your condition will be taken into consideration, as well as your ability to care for young children. If the disability prevents you from being able to take care of the children in any way, or you will not be able to meet the needs of children in your care, this is likely to affect your ability to foster.
9. “I can’t foster because I’m unemployed”
Fostering is considered as a full-time career – so being unemployed is not an issue that would cause ineligibility for fostering, as it’s often recommended that fostering becomes your only job. However, from a financial perspective, you would have to prove that you are financially stable and that you have the means to effectively manage your lifestyle alongside caring for a young child. Your financial situation will be discussed during the assessment process.
10. “I can’t foster because I don’t have the experience”
To become a foster carer, you will need to have some degree of experience with children. If you do not have children yourself, that’s not an issue – the experience does not have to come from your own children. You could gain experience with children through volunteer work or, in some cases, through your profession.
Now the top 10 foster care myths are ‘myth-busted’, learn more about the fostering process, the fostering requirements and the different types of foster care available. Get in touch with one of our experts now for further information.