People who enquire about fostering often ask us similar questions. Here you can find answers to frequently asked questions.
Am I too young or old to foster?
If you are over 21 and can provide a stable and caring home, you can foster. There is no upper age limit. The question we ask on age is - are you fit enough for our active children?
Is fostering only for married couples?
Definitely not. It does not matter whether you are married, in a partnership, single, separated, or in a same sex relationship. However, we do ask that any couples have lived together for at least two years and have a stable, caring relationship.
I have a disability, does this matter?
We will ask you how your particular disability affects your parenting, but most people can foster. We welcome the different life experiences that you can offer.
Can I foster if I am unemployed?
It does not matter that you are not working - we are looking for people who can offer a caring family. We do ask about family finances, but this applies to those in work as well as without.
What if I have no religion?
We welcome people from any religious faith - or none. We try to place children in families that reflect their religious backgrounds and so welcome foster carers of all persuasions.
I have some offences, can I foster?
Anyone who has committed serious criminal offences, including crimes against children, or violent offences will not be able to foster. In cases of other offences there is discretion.
Do you need black foster carers?
We are actively seeking families for the same race, language and culture as our children; as we believe they can ideally meet their needs. We have many black and dual heritage children needing homes.
What if I smoke?
We encourage all foster carers and adopters to not smoke, or at least to only do so outside the house. To be approved to look after children aged under five or with certain health issues you must have stopped smoking for a minimum of a year.
What sort of checks do you do?
You'll need to complete a health check, declaration of suitability and Disclosure and Barring (DBS) checks (formerly CRB checks). We also ask you for three personal referees.
How long does the assessment process take?
The journey to becoming an approved foster carer is a two stage process.
I have children of my own, can I foster?
Yes. The views of your children are taken into account during the assessment process. For families with their own children, fostering is very much a shared experience. It is important that all members of the household are happy and willing to provide a stable, tolerant and understanding home.
Can I continue working?
Yes. If you work full time there are some types of fostering that may be more suited to you than others. This will be discussed during your assessment. If you are considering giving up your current job to become a foster carer we strongly advise that you take into account that you may not be guaranteed a placement immediately.
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