To the general public, fostering is often misunderstood. The general public doesn’t really pay much attention and dismiss the whole idea completely – and this is not because they’re not interested outright, or couldn’t care. Its more due to the lack of knowledge and a true understanding. Here are some 8 facts about fostering, that you probably didn’t even know:
Foster carers provide care and a positive experience of family life in their own home to a needy child or young person. In most cases the aim of foster care is to reunite children with their own families, although this is not always possible. In these cases alternative permanent arrangements will be explored.
1. You’re not too old
There is no upper age limit on becoming a foster carer!
2. You’re not living in a mansion
Many of our foster carers don’t have mansions or four spare bedrooms, with a separate bathroom each! All you actually need as an extra bedroom to give the foster child their own personal space.
3. You’re not married/you’re married (cross out the one that doesn’t apply!)
Whether you are married or single, it makes no difference – okay, a joint application for fostering does make the actual fostering easier, as two people can share the roles and responsibilities between themselves – but single applications are more than welcome and may need a better support network, which can be provided. Like us, most fostering services provide support tailored to you, regardless of your marital/cohabiting situation
4. You can foster if you’re working
Lots of our carers become carers whilst they work if they have a partner at home who is capable of taking care of the child(ren). Others may work on a part time basis, ensuring that they are around to drop children to and collect from school, as well as the other core aspects of being a parent. Some carers leave work, and take up fostering up as a career.
5. You don’t have to take the placement if you don’t want to
A lot of people think that once they sign up and get approved, they have to say yes each time, to each placement. That is untrue. They way Welcome Foster Care work is that when a placement become available, it is then put forward for suitable carers, who then have the option to make a decision not to take on the placement. Of course, if you have indicated fostering preferences in your application form, they are adhered to.
6. You don’t have to be a parent
It doesn’t make a difference to your application whether you have any children of your own! However, you will need to have had experience caring for or working with children on a personal or professional level.
7. Fostering and adoption are two different things
Fostering isn’t the same as adoption!
Adoption is bringing a child or young person into your home, providing care, support and an upbringing just your own children.
Fostering is a placement that takes place, with the ultimate aim of the child or young person being reunited with their family, although this is not always possible. In these cases alternative permanent arrangements will be explored.
8. You don’t need to be wealthy!
As a fostering service, Welcome Foster Care provides a generous allowance, as well as additional allowances for things like birthdays and school uniform! Also you pay little or no tax on the allowances.
If you are interested in fostering, or would like more information, feel free to get in touch, or simply give Welcome Foster Care a quick call on 020 3397 3332 for the London office, and 0161 638 3391 for the Lancashire office.