It’s not uncommon to be asked ‘myth busting’ questions related to fostering. There are a few that continually recur, with people wondering if they would be ruled out from fostering, due to a set of predetermined criteria. It’s true that fostering is a highly regulated field and our foster carers are carefully selected and stringently assessed. It’s also true that we need foster carers from all walks of life, all persuasions, backgrounds, ethnicities and so on….because we need to place children in homes that ‘best match’ their often varied needs. So here are the top questions asked about fostering:
1) Do I need to be in a marriage or partnership? No..we have some excellent single foster carers and in some instances, the placing local authority may request a single person for a child or young person whose interests will be best met in that environment.
2) Do I need a spare room? Yes…this is essential criteria number one! It may seem obvious to some but we often have people enquire about fostering, who are extremely passionate but do not have the physical space for a child or young person. Even if plans for more space are imminent, we will not begin assessing people until they have the available space to foster.
3) Do I need a mortgage? No…renting is fine. The main criteria is stability and this can be met via a rented home and a commitment to invest time and energy in the child or young person.
4) Am I too old? Well….that would depend on a range of factors, such as outlook on life, health and general wellbeing and capacity to provide the care, energy and nurturing a looked after child will need. Diversity is necessary, so for some children, being placed with older foster carers with rich life experiences, who may have less day to day pressures and perhaps a more relaxed attitude and approach to life. Our oldest foster carers are in their seventies…
5) Can I work and foster? No and Yes….ideally ‘no’ because children and young people need the utmost attention to their needs and timings for important meetings can be unpredictable and frequent. However, in some instances a placement can be settled enough to enable the foster carer to work and also it would depend on the family system and wider support network, so enquire at Chrysalis Care to discuss your specific situation.