Can I Be a Foster Carer?
Carers come from all kinds of ethnic, religious, cultural and language backgrounds.
Are you over 21 years old?
There's no upper age limit. The important thing is that you are reasonably fit, healthy and energetic enough to provide care for a child or young person. During your fostering assessment, we will ask you to complete a medical examination with your GP. This will look at both your physical and mental health to check that you're fit and healthy enough to meet the needs of a child or young person, and that the demands of fostering won't have a negative impact on your own health.
Do you have a spare room?
Children and young people need their privacy so they are not able to share with any other children in your family although they can share with their own siblings, dependent upon their age and sex. The room needs to be big enough for a single bed, wardrobe, bedside table and chest of drawers. We can provide essential equipment for foster carers once they are approved, if required. Many foster carers take real pride in preparing a cosy, comfortable bedroom for a foster child because they know that having a safe space of their own will provide comfort and help them get used to their new surroundings. When a child arrives, it's a good idea to ask them what they'd like in their room and to get them to help you if they want to. It shows that it really is their space and makes it more personal for them.
Are you warm, caring, patient, understanding and open to learning about the needs of children and young people who have experienced trauma and how best to care for them?
Children and young people come into foster care for many different reasons but they all have experienced the trauma of being separated from their birth families and familiar homes. Many have also experienced neglect and abuse. It's not surprising that sometimes they find life difficult and become overwhelmed by their emotions which can be evident in their behaviour. Foster carers need to be able to stay calm when children are struggling, to listen and understand, and to be patient and connect with children and young people. Previous work experience with children or caring for your own children is useful but it's not essential, so don't let this stop you from getting in touch. It's who you are that matters, not what you've done.
- It doesn't matter if you are single, living with a partner, married or a same sex couple.
- You can be of any religion or cultural background.
- You may have children or step-children or you may have no children at all.
- You may be a tenant or a home-owner, living in a house or a flat.
- You may or may not be in paid employment. Carers for children come from lots of different backgrounds with lots of different skills and qualities.
- But you must have a sense of humour!
If you are ready to take the first steps towards being a foster carer please get in touch using our online enquiry form.