Caring for a child or young person calls for special personality traits. Having a criminal record may not prevent you from fostering. Past offences do not necessarily mean that you cannot become a foster carer.
Whether you apply through your local authority or through a service such as Capstone Foster Care, part of the assessment process includes a police check or Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check on anyone in your household over the age of 18. If you have a record and would like to know if you meet the fostering criteria, discuss the concept of fostering with Capstone Foster Care and be straightforward about your criminal record. The DBS check will reveal any criminal records you have so the earlier in the process that you discuss this aspect of your history, the better it is.
A criminal record does not necessarily disqualify you from becoming a foster carer. The circumstances, how long ago the criminal activity took place, and the type of offence are all factors considered during the application process. The type of offence is the major concern. There are criminal convictions that do preclude individuals from fostering such as offences against children, sexual offences, and certain violent crimes. Part of your assessment involves assessment of the risk your past offences poses to children and young people before Capstone Foster Care makes a decision regarding your suitability as a carer.
If you are a patient individual with a good sense of humour with an understanding personality, you have the essential traits to be a foster carer. If your offences are acceptable, there are other considerations that any local authority or fostering service has. At Capstone, the minimum age to be foster carers is 21. There is no upper age limit. The primary considerations are your health, maturity, and ability to carry out the sometimes demanding tasks of being foster parents to a child or young person.
Your marital status is not a factor. You can be married, single, in a common law relationship, gay or straight. There should be sufficient space in the family home so that each child has a separate bedroom that is spacious enough to hold a single bed and a chest of drawers or a wardrobe. There should not be aggressive pets in the household and if the foster child is under 5, it should be a non-smoking home.
As well as the DBS check, you will also undergo a health check. Ongoing training, help, and support are provided throughout your fostering work. A social worker will make home visits. It takes several months before a decision is made. If you are interested in becoming a foster carer, you are in high demand. Contact Capstone Foster Care with any specific questions you may have. We are willing to discuss any concerns you have about offences that have resulted in a criminal record before the assessment process begins. Once you are approved by Capstone Foster Care, you have our full support. Before any child is placed with you, all the details of the placement will be discussed with you. Allowances are made for the fact that you are new to fostering and you will have a supervising social worker to help you.
If you would like to register your interest, or simply talk to someone further, please call Capstone Foster Care on 0800 012 4004 or simply click here.