Foster Care - Mythbuster

There are many myths surrounding who can and cannot become a foster carer. The following information dispels most of the myths you can think of.

Myth 1: You have to be well off to foster.

This is not true. Fostering is a great thing to do for young people, but we would not expect you to do this for free. As an approved foster carer you would be paid a fostering allowance, which covers the extra household and general costs of having a young person living with you, any special expenses involved in their care and rewards your work as a professional foster carer. In addition, foster carers get tax relief on the money they make from fostering, and their benefits will usually not be affected.

Myth 2: I’d love to be a foster carer but I’m too old (or I’m too young!)

This is not true. If you’ve got enough energy to foster lively children, then you are not too old to foster! Legally there are no upper age limits on fostering, and many people come to fostering a littler later in life, after their children have left home for example. On the other hand, if you’re under 30 but can demonstrate you have the experience, commitment and dedication to foster young people then you’re not too young to foster.

Myth 3: I’d love to foster but I don’t have my own home.

Foster carers do not need to own their own home. Whether you have a mortgage, or are a private or council tenant makes no difference to your ability to give a young person a safe, secure and loving place to call home. As long as you have enough room in your home to be able to give each young person their own bedroom, and as long as you can offer a safe and secure home environment for young people then you can foster.

Myth 4: I’d love to be a foster carer but I’m a man.

Men can be foster carers too! Many men foster, and in fact the unique value of male carers is only now becoming more widely recognised. When a man fosters, he is able to present positive male role models for both male and female foster children.

Myth 5: I’d love to be a foster carer but I’m single.

You don’t have to be in a couple to foster. Single people can and do make great foster carers. Families come in all shapes and sizes. To us it’s not your marital status that is important but your ability to meet a young person’s needs.

Myth 6: I’d love to be a foster carer but I’ve never had children of my own.

You don’t need to have had your own children to foster. Before embarking on the journey of becoming a foster carer, we will need to be comfortable that you have enough experience of being around young people to know, broadly speaking, what is involved with caring for a child. It may be that you have gained experience as part of your job or through caring for an extended family.

Myth 7: I’d love to be a foster carer but I’m gay.

You do not have to be heterosexual to foster. Much like your marital status, your sexual orientation is not important to us when we are determining your ability to provide a safe home and sensitive care to a fostered young person.

Myth 8: I’d love to be a foster carer but I don’t want to give up work.

Depending on your circumstances you can sometimes foster and continue to work. It might just make a difference to the type of fostering that you can do.

Myth 9: I’d love to be a foster carer but my children still live at home.

This is great, a large percentage of our foster carers have their own children at home. In fact research has shown there can be enormous benefits for both the fostered children and the birth children if you do.

Myth 10: I’d love to be a foster carer but I have a disability.

We welcome applicants living with a disability. Every prospective foster carer goes through the same assessment process, which includes a medical check to check for any health or disability issues that would prevent them from being able to provide the best standard of care to a young person.

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Page last updated: 19/03/2020