You have probably encountered a number of agencies online looking for suitable foster carers. This is due to the rising number of children that are needing a foster home each year. As of the 31st March 2021, there were 80,850 children in care. That’s 67 in every 10,000, which is up by 2% on the previous year.
Fostering agencies make provision for a generous allowance and other amounts and benefits for foster carers who have a child placed with them. This enables foster carers to take up fostering as a career when they want to make a difference to these children in care. Those carers who having been doing it for decades say that it is rewarding and that they have acquired many new skills. They also indicate that every foster child is unique, so it is never just repetition, but an exciting field to work in.
If you are thinking of fostering, you undoubtedly want to know what the requirements are. We provide you with all the information you will need to make your decision.
Who Cannot Foster?
As expected, there are certain people who cannot be entrusted with foster children and agencies have strict rules about who cannot foster so that they can weed out these types of people.
You should not make the assumption that you are unsuitable if you have a genuine desire to help foster children. The mere fact of having a criminal record will not automatically exclude you. You can get bespoke advice by communicating with an agency in the UK.
However, any person found guilty of violent behaviour or abuse (including sexual crimes) of children will not be permitted to foster. This is done to ensure the safety and well-being of foster children in placements. The rule applies to everyone sharing your home.
Some criteria are dependent on the specific details. Having pets will not disqualify you from fostering in most cases. However, if you have a dog that is listed under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991/1997, you won’t be able to foster. Owning a pet that is on the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976 will also disqualify you.
Having a disability or health condition need not discourage you from applying to be a foster carer. It will depend on your ability to provide consistent daily care. In the same vein, being above a certain age is not an automatic disqualifier. What matters is having the stamina to keep up with a foster child’s needs.
Who Can Foster?
You can be single, divorced, widowed, or in a partnership and still foster. It is not only married couples of different genders that are accepted. There are many foster carers who are from the LGBTQIA+ community, and it does not detract from their ability to be great foster carers. Religion and gender identity are not disqualifiers.
What you will need is a spare bedroom. This is a governmental requirement. All children over three in the household must have their own rooms.
Types of Fostering
There are different types of fostering. For example, caring for children with physical or mental health conditions can be a specialist type of foster care. You will receive extra training to prepare you to support a disabled child if this is your desire. In many instances, there might be a group of siblings in need of a foster home where they can stay together and avoid being separated from their remaining family members as they have been taken from their biological parents.
With this guide, you are in a better position to know if your application will be successful.