There are often misconceptions about who can become a foster carer. The truth is, there is no such thing as a ‘typical’ foster carer. To apply, there are a few basic criteria you need to meet, but beyond that, we look at your values, ethics and passion – what you can bring to a child’s life. This is more important than sexuality, race, religion, age or parenting experience.
More people than you might think could apply to be a carer, could you be one of them?
Here are our top 7 myths about who can be a foster carer.
1. I’m too old
We have foster carers who are aged in their 70s and 80s, there is no such thing as ‘too old’! On the other end of the spectrum, the minimum age to apply is 21 years old.
Being a foster carer is not all about being a mum or dad, you could take on a big brother/sister role, or grandparent; age is not a factor.
2. I’m single
You can apply to be a foster carer whatever your marital status or sexuality. You could be:
- in a Couple
- in a Same Sex Relationship
- in a Civil Partnership
You can apply if you’re single, regardless of your gender; all we ask is that you can demonstrate you have support network of family and/or friends nearby.
3. I don’t have my own children
You do not need to have your own children to be a foster carer. Ideally you will have experience of working with or caring for children in some way. Most importantly, you’ll enjoy being around children, be passionate about supporting foster children and be open to welcoming them into your life.
4. I already have a job
If you want to foster and continue your current job it might well be possible. You can be registered for different types of fostering depending on what will suit your individual circumstances. You might be interested in providing short breaks, which could involve looking after children for one or two weekends a month, or for a set amount of time per week. If you have more time available or you are unemployed then you might consider interim or long term foster care.
We accept applications from people who are in full or part-time work, or who are unemployed. You will need to be flexible around the needs of the children you care for, which depending on the type of job you have, can work really well. Many of our carers balance their job alongside the responsibilities of fostering.
5. I’m disabled
Having a disability or long-term health problem is not necessarily a barrier to being a foster carer. During your application you’ll have a medical examination to show you are fit and well enough to foster and look after a child, both physically and mentally. This is something we can talk through at your initial discussion.
6. I rent my home
To be a foster carer, you don’t need to have a mortgage. You can rent your home, whether that’s privately or through the council. You do need to be financially stable, so we will do landlord or mortgage checks during your application process.
The type of ‘house’ is also not important – you could live in a flat or a house. What matters is that you have a spare bedroom in the place that you call home.
7. I don’t have any qualifications
You don’t need any qualifications to be a foster carer – we provide all the training you need to apply. Once you’re registered as a foster carer we provide regular training opportunities to support you in the role. We also have a dedicated training officer to help ensure that you are kept up to date with all the relevant training throughout your fostering journey.
So if you think you could become a foster carer for children across Falkirk, please get in touch with the team for more information and an initial discussion.
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