Fostering a child is an incredible thing to do that will not only change their life forever but also yours and your family. Many people are put off from engaging in this experience and process due to common myths that they may think to be true that may result in their chances being limited.
However, the restrictions and rules have differed a lot in recent years, meaning that more and more people are eligible to foster a child. Here are some of the main myths surrounding foster care which will hopefully dispel them once and for all.
MYTH: Only straight couples with no children can foster.
FACT: There are numerous different types of family set-ups these days, with no one being more superior to the next. The various different fostering agencies available now have taken this on board and give families of all variations the chance to foster. So whether you’re single, in a same-sex relationship or already have children of your own, you are still eligible. You can read more about the different types of fostering families here – www.capstonefostercare.co.uk/can-i-foster/.
MYTH: A criminal record automatically means you cannot foster.
FACT: It’s impossible to state that just because you have a criminal record it means you are a danger to children and young people. Therefore each case will usually be taken individually and treated with respect and confidentiality. Though of course, if you or your partner has any criminal convictions that involve harming a child in some way, this will result in you being unable to foster.
MYTH: You have to have loads of dispensable income to be considered.
FACT: You don’t have to be extremely wealthy to foster. In fact, you just have to be regarded as financially stable to take on another person into your care. You will be given money towards the costs of living for the child which will be a big help, too.
MYTH: You don’t get much support with looking after the child.
FACT: The agency that you foster with should help you every step of the way throughout the entire process, by means of providing emotional and financial support as well as useful advice. You could also even look to foster carer support networks to speak to likeminded individuals who are going through similar things to yourself.
MYTH: You need to own a big house to foster a child.
FACT: Most companies do require you to have a spare room for the child, but other than that, the size of your house or whether you actually live in a flat is irrelevant. You don’t even have to own your own house; as long as you have permission from your landlord if you live in a rented home, you will be considered by most good agencies.
MYTH: There is a desired age for foster carers.
FACT: There is so desired or set age for foster carers, so if you think you are too young or too old, that is just not the case. The legal age limit is 21 years old for you to be able to foster, and there is no maximum age, as long as you are fit and healthy enough to look after a child.