There are around 44,500 foster families in England but thousands more are still needed each year.
We understand there are many things to consider when joining the foster carer community, so we hope to dispel a few myths and encourage you to take the step and join our vital community of foster carers.
- ‘You need to be married.’ This is not true; in fact, you do not need to be in a relationship at all. If you are single and have space in your heart and home, you can foster, (and of course, we welcome foster carers whatever their sexuality).
- ‘You have to have/had children of your own.’ Whilst we do have many foster carers who have their own children, you don’t necessarily need to be a parent. We are looking for people with experience of being with children and young people. This may be from having your own children or through family contacts or volunteering experience with children or youth groups. We also provide training and support throughout your fostering journey.
- ‘Only those that are wealthy can foster.’ The main requirements are that you are over 23 years old, your home is secure with a spare room, and you have the right qualities such as patience, empathy and good listening skills are vital. When you foster you receive a fostering allowance, even if you are claiming benefits. Find out more on Who Can Foster Children?
- ‘There is only one type of fostering.’ There are many different types of foster placements. This can include fostering young children, teenagers, young parents and their child, as well as groups of siblings. Placements can be either long or short term stays. No placements are the same and will come with their own set of challenges as well as being able to watch a child grow and achieve with your support and encouragement.
- ‘I cannot have another job.’ Being a foster carer is a big commitment, it’s a keyworker role and you will be a professional partner when you work with OwnLife Fostering.
In fact, with many people looking for changes in career, fostering offers a much sought after working from home job. Having said that we have many foster carers who have had previous careers that they can pick up on if a placement is of school age. The majority of our children are over the age of 10 so there may be options to do other work around a child’s school routine. However, if you are fostering young children there does need to be at least one full-time foster carer for them.
Essential qualities of a foster carer
Our main requirement for foster carers is that you are caring, compassionate and driven to be the best role model for those in your care. It will be challenging at times but if you are able to build a positive environment and provide a stable family unit for them it will be a rewarding opportunity for you and the child in your care.
At OwnLife, we pride ourselves on being a team and treating our foster carer community with respect and as professionals. Before you become a foster carer, we ensure that you have what it takes and are ready and confident to take on the role. Once you become a foster carer, we are still here to take your calls and queries 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We are also a community of other foster carers where you can connect with others and share your stories.
If you have any more questions or want to learn more about fostering, please get in touch here or call us on 020 8313 3304.
Become a foster carer with OwnLife Fostering.