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The myths of fostering

If you've considered fostering - but didn't think you'd be eligible - then think again. You can foster!

In national research, we found that one in ten people do not understand what fostering actually means and why children and young people are placed in foster care.

We aim to bust the myths of fostering, and show how you can transform the lives of the most vulnerable and neglected children and young people.


Myth: "I'd love to foster, but… I don't think I'm the right age."

You can. Nearly half (44%) of the nation thinks that if you are over 55 you will not be approved as a carer. As a general rule, we look for foster carers who are over 21 years old but we don't have any upper age limits. Our only requirements are that you have enough energy and experience to take care of lively children! In fact, almost 10 per cent of our foster carers are over 60 and three per cent are under 30.

Myth: "I'd love to foster, but… I'm male."

You can. Nearly a fifth (16%) of people believe that if you are a man you can’t be a foster carer. Both women and men make great foster carers. In fact, almost half of our foster carers are male. If you have energy, resilience and understanding, you can help to transform a child's life.

Myth: "I'd love to foster, but… I'm gay."

You can. 1 in 3 people are under the assumption that if you are gay you can’t foster. Whether you are straight, gay or lesbian, we welcome applications from people who can bring different skills, knowledge and life experiences to the fostering role, regardless of their sexual orientation.

Myth: "I'd love to foster, but… I don't own my home."

You can. 1 in 3 people believe if you live in rented accommodation you can’t foster. You don't need to own your house to foster. As long as each child can have their own bedroom, you can foster. Some of our foster carers live in rented accommodation and some own their homes.

Myth: "I'd love to foster, but… I don't have children."

You can. Although having your own children is a great way to gain the experience and knowledge you need to become a foster carer, you don't have to be a parent to foster. All we ask is that you've cared for children or young people through family contact, volunteering or employment. If you do have your own children living at home, we'll carefully match foster children or young people to the needs of your family and circumstances.

Myth: "I'd love to foster, but… I'm single."

You can. We don't have any requirements about your marital status. Our foster carers may be single, married, in a civil partnership or living with a partner. Almost 30 per cent of our foster carers are single.

Myth: "I'd love to foster, but... I haven't worked with children or young people."

You can. Almost 60 per cent of our foster carers come from backgrounds not related to childcare. These range from taxi drivers to accountants to running a fish and chip shop! We'll offer you excellent training, development and support so you're prepared for the challenges and rewards of fostering. We just ask that you've got some experience caring for children or young people through your family or volunteering.

Myth: "I'd love to foster, but... I don't think they recruit carers from my ethnicity."

You can. We need all types of carers to reflect the types of children and young people who need a place to stay when they can't live with their birth families. We welcome applications from all people who can bring different skills, knowledge and life experiences to the fostering role, whatever their ethnicity.

Myth: "I'd love to foster, but... I can't afford to give up work."

You can. 1 in 3 people think you need to remain in full time employment and are unaware that carers are given financial support.  We know fostering is challenging work that needs to be recognised. So if your current role means you don't have the time to become a carer, don't worry. By recieving fees and allowances, carers can focus on their time and skills on caring for children and young people. 

You can: 

  

Contact us

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For a free information pack or more information on fostering our simple, online contact form., call 0845 200 5162 or read our fostering report.