The world of foster care can be like an alien planet to many people. If you have begun to consider fostering, these FAQs may help you decide whether it is a possibility and if it is right for you and your family. You can find more information courtesy of Capstone Foster Care in this foster care Q&A.
Can I foster if I am single?
YES. It is important to match the foster child’s needs to the attributes of the carer. On many occasions a single carer will be able to devote more attention to a young person and will therefore fit the bill.
Will I get training in becoming a foster carer?
YES. Most agencies will support their carers by providing them with expert training, advice and sharing experience from other carers. Such guidance will be given throughout the process from becoming a carer to the duration of your career as a foster carer.
Will I get an allowance?
YES. There is a standard government allowance for foster carers which changes every April. You can find out the figures here.
Do I have a choice in who I foster?
SOMETIMES. Every agency will have their own policy on this. Some agencies will take your preferences in regards to age and sex and others will let you choose the young person you foster. All agencies will first try to match up the right individual to the right family.
Can I foster if I already have children?
YES. There may be some restrictions if you have children under two years old but there will be different family needs and preferences for different young people.
Can I foster if I don’t have a spare room?
NO. Each foster child will need their own spare room so this is a necessity for fostering.
What if I’m in a same sex relationship?
YES. As with any couple you will be judged on your merits as carers, which does not include your sexuality.
Will my religion be a factor?
YES. Foster agencies encourage people from a range of cultures and backgrounds to become foster carers, that way more young people from diverse backgrounds will get the care that suits them.
What if I work?
Like any young people, those who go into foster care require a high level of professional care, that is why agencies will expect at least one person from a couple to devote full time hours to care or at least be flexible.
Can I foster if I rent?
YES. This should not stand in the way of you fostering. You may have to gain permission from your landlord in some instances but there is no rule against it.