Did you know that in the UK alone, there is currently a shortage of over 8,000 foster families. This means over 8,000 children are without a family, love, support, and a place to call home. When you think about it in real terms, it’s quite a heartbreaking fact.
As a parent, I have often thought about whether I could become a foster carer, but I’ve not really known enough about it. I’ve since looked into it more, so I figured I could share this article to help others who are considering fostering a child…
Who can foster a child?
When it comes to being a foster parent, there’s really no such thing as an ‘ideal’ kind of person. There are people from all walks of life that foster children. There are actually many myths surrounding who can become a foster carer, here are the answers to some of the most common questions :
Is there an age limit?
You just have to be over the age of 21.
Do I need to have my own children?
No, in fact, fostering is a popular path people who can’t have children or are struggling to conceive. It’ s also a popular option for parents whose children have left home and are looking for a way to help out while filling empty rooms.
Do I need to own my home?
Nope, whether you own your home, rent from a private landlord or from your local authority doesn’t matter. You just need to have a spare bedroom.
Can a single person foster?
A lot of people wonder if a single person can foster, but you can! You don’t have to be married or in a relationship to become a foster carer. You can be single, married, living together as a couple and be of any sexual orientation.
So, what are the requirements for becoming a foster carer?
- You must have a spare bedroom for a foster child to use
- You have to be over 21 years old to foster but there is no upper age limit.
- You will need to have the patience and be empathetic and resilience to be able to support a child who could have complex emotional needs.
- You can be a single female or male, married or living as a couple.
- Anyone of any ethnic group or culture, and of any sexuality can foster.
- You will need to have british citizenship or have been granted permanent residence/indefinite leave to remain in the uk.
So why should you do it?
There’s nothing quite like fostering a child. Working from home, it’s possible to combine fostering with caring for your own children, or to combine fostering and other work, depending on the age and needs of the children in your care.
There are currently tens of thousands of children across the UK need foster carers while they can’t live with their own families, and there’s a massive shortage of foster families available. Like other jobs working with children, fostering isn’t easy but is super rewarding and makes a monumental difference to children’s lives.
You will also get paid to look after a child. The basic foster care rates currently range from £200 to £600 per week, depending on the age of the child. For children who have special requirements, there is a specialised care increment, determined by the child’s social worker.