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Fostering with mental health issues 

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Having a mental health condition will not automatically disqualify you from fostering – sometimes, it can even be an advantage for some foster placements. In our helpful guide, we will be discussing the realities of fostering with mental health issues as well as how this could affect the assessment process. We will also discuss what happens if you develop a mental illness during placement and what support you’d likely receive

Fostering with mental health FAQs

Can I foster if I have been diagnosed with mental illness?

During the fostering application process, both your physical and mental health will be assessed as an initial phase of your application to foster. Whilst your mental health diagnosis is not a deciding factor, the severity of your condition will be taken into consideration. For instance, social workers may consider how the emotional impact of fostering could further affect your mental health. Each case will be reviewed on an individual basis to decide the best outcome.

Can I foster if I’m taking medication for my mental health?

Your medication will naturally be discussed as part of the fostering assessment process. If you are taking medication consistently, this should not be a problem – however, you must consult your doctor if you wish to lower the dosage. It is important that you are extra vigilant when you have medications in the house and keep your medication out of the reach of children.

Can I foster if I’ve had past mental health challenges?

Your previous medical record shouldn’t determine whether you are able to foster or not – as part of the assessment, our agency will assess the severity of your past mental health condition. To better decide whether it has the possibility of impacting your fostering abilities, again, this is reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

What happens if I develop a mental health condition during a foster placement?

If there is a significant change that occurs during your foster placement, it is important that you notify the fostering agency as soon as possible. If it is believed that this developed mental health condition could potentially harm you, or your foster child, the child will be removed from your care until relevant measures are put into place. The independent fostering agency would then put a treatment plan in place by working with both you and your doctor to ensure your wellbeing, as well as your foster child’s wellbeing is prioritised.

Can I foster a child with mental health challenges if I have mental health challenges myself?

Pairing a foster child who suffers with their mental health with a foster parent who has previously experienced mental health challenges can sometimes be advantageous. This is because the foster parent will be able to offer a specialised insight due to their shared experiences – meaning they can offer a level of relatability and comfort.

However, in the situation where both foster parent and foster child are experiencing mental health challenges, this could create an unhealthy dynamic. Both parties may be triggered by each other, and it could cause their mental health symptoms to worsen, which is why these circumstances must be carefully assessed before any decisions can be made.

Support as a foster carer with mental health challenges

In conclusion, having a mental health condition shouldn’t deter you from applying to foster – here at Excel Fostering, we pride ourselves on providing high-quality care and support around the clock. Offering 24/7 fostering support, our network allows you to speak to caring professionals as well as like-minded foster carers who could have experienced similar situations to what you’re going through. Learn more about our unrivalled fostering support services.

If you have any questions about fostering with mental health issues, do not hesitate to contact our helpful team today.

Thinking of 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.

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