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Fostering myth busting

We try our best to spread positive messages about fostering. However, there are still some unhelpful myths about fostering and who can foster children, so we thought it might be time for a little bit of myth busting. Here are our answers to the top ten fostering myths.

Top ten fostering myths

Dad playing with childI'm too old (or too young!) to be a foster carer

There’s actually no upper age limit on fostering in the UK, so don’t let your age put you off of giving a child a loving home. You just have to be over 21.

I’d love to foster but I don’t own my own home

You can rent or own your home. What matters is that you have enough room for a child and your housing circumstances are not temporary.

I want to foster but I'm a man

Not all foster carers are female, the unique value male foster parents offer is now becoming widely recognised so don’t let that stop you from applying. We even have a WhatsApp group you can be part of when you get approved.

I’d love to foster but I'm single

You can be married, single or living with someone, lesbian or gay. Remember that your partner will also be assessed as to their suitability to foster children.

I want to foster but I've never been a parent

Experience is not required to be a foster parent. The primary equipment is a willingness to care for a child and the ability to make a home where the child will feel loved and protected. We will provide you with all the training and support you need.

I’d love to foster but I'm gay

We believe that it’s your personal qualities that make you a great foster carer – not your gender or sexual orientation. As long as you are compassionate and can provide a stable environment for a child or young person, you’ve got what we’re looking for. At Haringey we are proud to have LGBTQ+ families fostering with us, one of those families are Alexander and James. Read their LGBTQ+ fostering story.

I want to foster but don’t want to give up work

As long as you are meeting your core responsibilities as a foster parent, there is no reason why you can’t work. In fact, many foster parents continue to work in part-time roles, so they can enjoy the best of both worlds.

I am disabled so cannot take care of a foster child

Not all disabilities disqualify you from fostering. While there is an emphasis on good health for foster carers, disabilities are not necessarily disqualifiers. If fostering will not put your health at risk, a disability will not prevent you from being a foster parent. There are expectations that must be met and if you can perform typical daily activities and attend necessary meetings, your disability will not be a preventative factor in fostering.

I want to become a foster carer but I don’t have a spare room

You don’t need a spare room if you choose to foster a baby between birth and 14 months the baby could sleep in a cot in your room.

I'd love to foster but I can't afford to

You do not have to be well off to foster children. Fostering is an amazing thing to do for young people, but it is not charity. As an approved foster carer you would be paid a fostering allowance, which covers the extra household and general costs of having a young person living with you, any special expenses involved in their care and rewards your work as a professional foster carer. Foster carers get tax relief on the money they make from fostering, and their benefits will usually not be affected.

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Get in touch

Our team is here to give you all the advice you need on how to become a foster carer. Feel free to call our friendly fostering team on 020 8489 3754, enquire online via our dedicated e-form if you prefer:

Contact us

We are here to get you on the path to a truly rewarding career as a foster carer.

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Page last updated:

August 26, 2021