Common myths about fostering

If you thought you couldn’t foster, think again. Quite often, people rule themselves out of fostering when they don’t need to. If your question isn't answered below, call us on 07917 503447 for a chat. 

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I already have children at home so I can’t foster

Many of our foster carers have their own children living with them and foster at the same time. This can be really rewarding and beneficial for your own children, as well as the foster children. 

We offer lots of great support to your own children, including a fun group where they can meet other foster carers’ children and take part in regular activities and events.

Beth’s parents became foster carers when she was 17 and she shared some advice on how to involve your children in fostering, right from the beginning of the application process. Watch her story on our Foster carer stories webpage.

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I don’t have my own children so I can’t foster

Although many foster carers do have their own children, this isn’t a requirement of becoming a foster carer. As long as you have other experience of working with or looking after children or young people, we’d love to hear from you.

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I work full-time so I can’t foster 

Lots of foster carers combine their care responsibilities with their work so this might be possible, as long as you can dedicate enough time to supporting the child.

Many carers who work full time start out providing respite care at weekends so that our other foster carers can have a break. Lots of employers in Swindon will support you in your fostering journey so this might be something you can discuss with them.

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I’m a bit older so I can’t foster

There’s no upper age limit to who can become a foster carer. Our older carers come with a wealth of experience, so as long as you’re in good health and have the skills and energy to look after children, then we’d love to hear from you.  

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I’m single so I can’t foster

Your relationship status doesn’t matter, as long as you can provide a safe and nurturing home for a foster child. It’s important to have a strong support network around you which could come in the form of family and friends, and we’ll provide you with 24-hour support, too.

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I’m in a same-sex relationship so I can’t foster 

Our children need a variety of foster families so if you can offer a safe and happy environment for a child or young person, please get in touch.

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I don’t own my own home so I can’t foster 

Many foster carers live in rented accommodation, so this shouldn’t be a problem. You’ll just need to obtain the landlord’s consent which is not usually an issue.

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I have a long-term health condition so I can’t foster

This isn’t an automatic barrier to becoming a foster carer and we’d be happy to chat to you more about this. Anyone who applies undergoes a full medical check to ensure you’re in good health to be able to look after children.

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English is not my first language so I can’t foster 

Some children in foster care won’t have english as their first language, so being placed with a family who share the same first language can be very beneficial. However, you’ll need a good level of spoken and written english to communicate with other professionals, support the child’s education and keep records. 

We'd be happy to discuss any thoughts or communication needs with you. 

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I don’t have the right qualifications to become a foster carer

You don’t need loads of qualifications to become a foster carer as we have a strong training programme for our approved foster carers to help you grow your skills. What’s important is your experience and a commitment to developing your knowledge.

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I have pets at home so I can’t foster

Pets can be a really great asset to a foster family, just bear in mind that they’ll need to be assessed as part of the process, just like everyone else living in the house.

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My religious views mean I can’t foster

We understand that for many people their faith is important and this is something which our Fostering Team would be happy to chat through with you so please get in touch.

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I have a criminal conviction so I can’t foster

People with criminal convictions or cautions can foster but, it does depend on the seriousness of the offence, how long ago it was, and how you have lived your life since. You will not be able to foster if you have certain convictions or offences against children, but get in touch and we can discuss the issue in confidence.

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I’m serving in the military so I can’t foster

Just because you or someone in your family are serving in the military, this doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t become a foster carer. Please just bear in mind that, if you’re likely to be posted overseas, we’d only be able to consider you as respite foster carers. We’d be happy to chat this through with you so please do get in touch.

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I smoke so I can’t foster

Smoking does not prevent you from fostering with us. However, we cannot place children under six years old with someone who smokes. Given that living in a smoking household does present an increased health risk, we would encourage you to give up and can provide support to help you do this.

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