Foster Care: Frequently Asked Questions

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.

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