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Can I choose who I foster?

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When deciding whether fostering is the right path for you, you may have various questions around the child you will be fostering, and what level of choice you have. Whether you have an age range preference or you’re curious about ethnicity matching, we’ve put together these FAQs around choosing foster children which may help answer your question.

However, if your question has still been unanswered, either visit our dedicated fostering FAQs page or get in touch with a member of our team today.

FAQs around choosing foster children

What are the types of children that need fostering?

There is a diverse range of children in the foster care system who need support and a secure, loving environment. Not only do these children vary in age, but they also vary in ethnicity, race and religion, too. Many young people in care are over the age of 10 years.

Can you choose the age of your foster child?

All of our foster carers are approved from either birth to 18 years old, or from 5 years old to 18 years old – as well as being approved for caring for both genders. However, if you do have a preferred age range you would like to care for, this can be taken into account.

Having a preferred age range could be due to various family circumstances – but it’s important to note, if you only receive a fostering payment when you have a child/ren in placement with you, it’s more beneficial to be open to a wide range of ages. Specific age ranges may be limited which is determined by the referrals received from the local authority – meaning it’s likely that carers who specify they would like a younger child may have to wait longer for a suitable placement than a carer who is open to all ages.

Can you foster more than one child?

Yes – you are able to foster more than one child at a time. You can do this either by fostering sibling groups – which looks to place children from the same biological family with the same foster family to alleviate trauma, create consistency and increase comfort to children in the care system.

You are also able to have more than one foster placement simultaneously. This is quite common for foster parents to partake in – however, it’s important to note that assessments will need to be undertaken to ensure that the existing child in your care will cope well with a new child entering the environment, and vice versa.

It’s also worth noting that it’s possible to foster a child alongside your own biological children – but, again, assessments will need to be carried out to ensure the fit is applicable for everyone.

Can you choose the ethnicity of the child you foster?

Here at Capstone Foster Care, we try to ensure that cultures and religions of our foster children and carers are matched as well as possible to adhere to cultural values and religious beliefs. However, with a diverse range of foster children, foster parents should be prepared to foster a child of any race, religion or ethnicity. Learn more about cultural diversity with foster care from our guide.

How does the fostering matching process work?

When it comes to placing a child with a foster family, we look at a range of criteria to ensure we are creating the perfect match. Some of the types of criteria that are considered include:

  • Age of the child
  • Age of any biological children
  • Number of children in the house (including both biological and any other foster children)
  • Ethnicity
  • Location
  • Religion
  • Pets

However, the most important attribute when looking to match a child with a carer is ensuring the needs of the child and your experience is appropriate – so we are delivering the best level of care possible for the young person in care.

Can you choose how long the child in care stays with you?

The length of time a child will stay with you depends entirely on their individual circumstances, and what type of fostering placement this would be. For example, an emergency foster placement can last days, whereas a long term foster placement could last years. Here at Capstone, we do our best to ensure we help you decide what is the right type of fostering placement for you.

Ready to learn more about how to become a foster carer? Our friendly team of experts are always on hand to help.

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