If fostering a child is something you’ve always thought about, or is something you’ve perhaps begun thinking about, you will no doubt have lots of questions about whether you’d be suitable or not. This can be made a lot more difficult thanks to all the myths surrounding who is and who isn’t eligible to do so.
Therefore we’ve put an article together that will hopefully dispel the majority of these common myths that have been standing in the way of great, potential foster parents for far too long.
Myth: You can’t foster if you’re a single parent
FACT: It’s generally regarded that you have to have a partner and a large home to be able to foster, and this is not the case at all. In fact, you don’t even need a partner at all. A lot of agencies are especially grateful of single parent applicants as these types of families can mean that the child will receive 100% focused attention, which is what some more slightly demanding children may relish.
Myth: You can’t foster if you’re in a same-sex relationship
FACT: Any good and creditable foster agency will treat same-sex couples just as they would any other type of family set up, as they will obviously understand that sexual orientation will have no impact on how you are as parents. Therefore the question of can you foster or not should have nothing to do with this, as long as you choose a good agency!
Myth: There’s an ideal age you should be to foster
FACT: Most agencies will accept applications from those 21 and above (though some may have a slightly higher limit of 25) and it’s very unusual to see an agency that has an age maximum. All you need to do is be fit and healthy enough to look after a child, and this won’t be affected by age.
Myth: You can’t foster if you have mental health issues, such as if you suffer with depression
FACT: Conditions like depression may be a concern for you if it’s a big part of your life, when looking into fostering. However, it’s important you don’t let this put you off as most agencies will evaluate applicants on an individual basis to see whether it is possible for you to be a good foster parent alongside your health issues.
Myth: You can’t foster if you don’t own your own home
FACT: There isn’t really a rule that says you can’t foster unless you own your own home outright, as long as your landlord says it’s ok before the process begins, and as long as you have a spare room so that the child can have their own room.
Myth: If you have a criminal record, you can’t foster
FACT: All applicants will be subject to a DBS check (Disclosure and Barring Service) fairly early on in the process, so any convictions should be announced early on to refrain from slowing down the development. If you have a conviction that involves harming a child you won’t be able to foster, yet some crimes won’t mean that you are unfit to look after children and therefore most agencies will assess you on an individual basis.
This article is provided by Melissa.