There are lots of myths and uncertainties that circulate about becoming a foster parent. Age, marital status and personal experience often believed to be the deciding factors. Here are some of the most common myths uncovered and questions answered, in order to shed some light on the fostering process…
Can I foster a child if I’m single?
There are certain qualities that you must possess to become a foster parent, but having a partner is not one of them. An excellent foster parent needs to have lots of patience, be empathetic, supportive and have a big heart. Foster children are often working through a ‘transition period’- where they are waiting to either be reunited with their birth parents, or in the process of being found the perfect ‘forever family’ – so they need to be provided with a stable and loving home to make the transition and smooth and to cause as little trauma as possible. It doesn’t matter if you are a man, woman, single, married etc. if you believe that you can provide a safe place for a child, or children, in need, then you can be the perfect candidate for the position.
Am I too old or too young to foster?
If you are over 25 years of age, then fostering a child should not prevent you from starting the fostering process. Life experience is actually a great attribute to have when being considered, and rather than being judged on how old you are, you will need to prove that you are in a good standard of physical and mental health.p
Can I foster if I have my own children?
A common misconception when it comes to fostering is that people who have their own children are not suitable candidates to be foster parents. If you have your own children, it demonstrates that you have the experience to deal with different behaviours and above everything, that you are able to provide a loving and stable environment for a foster child. Bringing a child into a home that already has children living there can actually be an easier transition, as they have somebody to speak to and play with. This can make a foster child feel more at ease and settle into your home quicker. The only caveat is that you cannot bring a foster child into your home who is older than your eldest child.
Can I become rich from foster parenting?
Foster parenting can be a viable and rewarding career path to take. You can earn a salary which will increase depending on experience, and you can also be awarded a fund to ensure that they child has a normal upbringing (Christmas, birthdays etc.), but this will in no way be enough money to make you rich. This career, like any public service or charitable role, is more rewarding and mentally fulfilling than it is financially rewarding.
Do I have to be qualified to become a foster parent?
Before you can foster a child, there is a rigorous process that you must initially go through. You will initially be paired with a social worker, who will visit you on up to 10 occasions. In this time, they assess your suitability, family and medical history to make sure that you are suitable to foster a child. This process is called the completion of the ‘Form F Report’. If you pass this initial stage, you will also have to complete a 3-40day course, which will teach you all of the basics and need-to-know information about being a foster parent. Essentially, you will have to be both suitable and qualified to become a foster parent.
If you are of sound health, mind and possess the right qualities to be able to provide and stable and loving home for a foster child, then you can be the perfect candidate, regardless of age, marital status and personal experience.
Have you ever considered foster parenting? Or perhaps you are reading this as you are currently exploring this avenue. Do share in a comment below.