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Can I foster if...?

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Often when deciding whether to foster, we are asked many common questions around ‘can I foster if…?’

These questions are often related to who you are as a person, what you do for a living, where you live, your health and other relevant fostering queries.

Throughout this FAQ section, we’ve created a list of commonly asked questions relating to ‘Can I foster if…’. However, if you find your query is not featured in the list, please get in touch with us and a member of our helpful team can assist you in your fostering query.

Primary fostering requirements

Can I foster if I’m not a British citizen?

Being a British citizen is not a requirement of becoming a foster carer – however, most fostering services would expect you to be a full-time resident living in the UK. In the UK for a limited time but keen to foster? Our experts here at Capstone can provide you with the information you need. Find out more about the fostering requirements, or get in touch with our team now.

Can I foster if I’m too old or too young?

Fostering with Capstone Foster Care requires you to be at least 21 years of age, but there is no upper age limit on fostering. As long as you are fit and healthy, and able to look after younger children, then there is no reason why older age should prevent you from being able to foster.

Can I foster if my house is too small?

The size of your house will not necessarily be a determining factor in whether or not you can foster. However, you will need to have a spare room in order to foster a child – as this is one of the primary foster care requirements. Also, whether or not you own your property will not be a quality which would determine your eligibility to foster – however, you will need to demonstrate stability if you are renting a property.

Queries about who I am

Can I foster if I’m gay?

Regardless of your sexual orientation, whether you are gay, bisexual straight or other, this will not affect your ability to foster. Fostering requires a set of personality traits, however, sexual orientation is not one of those requirements. See our LGBT fostering myth-busting article for all your LGBT fostering FAQs answered.

Can I foster with a criminal record?

A criminal record does not automatically disqualify you from being able to foster. However, this is all dependent on the circumstances of the offence, how long ago it took place, the type of offence and other factors to consider too. Our guides on ‘Can you foster with a criminal record?’ and ‘Can I foster if my partner has a criminal record?’ have more information on fostering with a criminal record.

Can I foster if I have medical or health problems?

Health problems, such as a chronic illness or a disability will not necessarily prevent you from fostering. This will have to be taken into consideration during your fostering application process, and when placements are determined, and will be dependent on the nature of the medical condition or disability. However, if the disability or illness prevents you from being able to take care of children in any way, or means you will not be able to meet the needs of the children in your care, this may affect your ability to foster.

Can I foster if I have pets?

Having pets does not prevent you from being able to foster. However, there are some simple guidelines that you’ll need to adhere to, such as ensuring that your pets are healthy, gardens are kept clean and the pets are kept under control. Find out more information about fostering with pets from our detailed guide.

Can I foster if I can’t drive?

Being able to meet the needs of young people in care is the priority goal of being a foster carer. This may mean taking them to school, after-school activities, appointments or meeting up with their birth family. If you cannot drive, you will need to demonstrate you have access to good public transport links.

Can I foster as a single parent?

Yes – you can foster as a single parent. Fostering as a single parent may take a little extra energy because you won’t have a partner’s support, but it is absolutely possible to foster as a single parent. Learn more about single parent fostering from our guide.

Career and experience

Can I foster if I have no experience working with children?

In order to become a foster carer, you will need to have some degree of experience with children. This does not need to come from your own children – so if you do not have children, you can gain experiencing with children elsewhere, such as through your profession or volunteer work.

Can I foster and work?

Fostering is often deemed as a full time job so, typically, when becoming a foster parent, it’s common to make this your only career. However, there are circumstances where you can continue to work while fostering, for example, if you are fostering as a couple where one person can stay home to look after the foster children while the other continues to work. Learn more about if you can work and foster from our detailed guide.

Can I foster if I am on benefits?

Yes – you can still foster if you are receiving benefits. You will receive fostering payments for taking care of a child, and these payments are generally disregarded as income when calculating welfare benefits, or only taxable income from your fostering payments is regarded as income. Therefore, there is a generous tax scheme in place, meaning many foster carers’ taxable income is zero.

For more information on whether you can foster, please contact a member of our expert team here at Capstone. Here, we can provide you with all the fostering advice you need to make your decision whether to become a foster carer. Find out more about how to become a foster carer now.

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