Fostering – Exploding the Myths
When we talk to people about fostering, it is really clear to us that there are a number of myths out there on the subject. Sometimes if you hear something often enough then you start to think it is true. Like those silly urban myths than seem to gain such momentum. This article was inspired by a number of queries from our Fostering Liverpool Forum.
Here at Lorimer Foster Services we are passionate about helping vulnerable children and finding foster carers. And so we do not want anyone to be deterred because they think they can’t do it. In this Fostering Liverpool article we summarise some of the common myths we hear. We want to spell out the facts so that potential foster carers, people like you, are not put off and feel able to progress your application.
Can I foster if I don’t own my own home?
Fact. You still can. Many foster carers live in rented accommodation. As long as you are able to provide a foster child with their own bedroom then you can apply to be a foster carer.
Can I foster if I am single?
Fact. You still can. The assessment process to be a foster carer focuses on your experience and ability, not your relationship or marital status.
Can I foster if I’m too old? (Fostering Liverpool Forum)
Fact. You still can. Legally, you do need to be over 18 years to foster and many people think that you need to get some ‘life experience’ behind you but there are no upper age limits. Many foster carers are over 60 and some are younger than 30. We are interested in your experience, ability, attitude and energy. Not your age.
Can I foster if I’m gay?
Fact. You still can. Your sexual orientation is not relevant. Whether you a straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender you can apply to be a foster carer. The assessment process focuses on your experience and ability, not your sexual orientation.
Can I foster if I don’t have my own children?
Fact. You still can. Of course, if you have your own children you already have experience and insight into raising young people. But again, remember the assessment process focuses on your experience and ability to care for children. Maybe you have gained experience of children through your family network, your job or from volunteering? This is what matters.
Can I foster if I have a full time job?
Fact. You still can. Fostering is not a volunteer service. You are paid. All foster carers receive a payment/allowance for the child and so it normally works out that people are able to leave work and focus on caring for children.
Feeling slightly more aware about fostering? Good. There is a shortage of foster carers in the UK and so it is important we all ‘do our bit’ to educate each other and help dispel some of the untruths out there. So next time you hear someone unwittingly propagating a myth about fostering, please correct them, it could make all the difference!