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Fostering while renting

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Contrary to popular belief, whether you rent your home or whether your home is a bought property, it is not likely to affect your ability to become a foster carer. Children in the care system need a loving home, a secure environment and stability – so, as long as the home you live in can provide these features, this shouldn’t affect your ability to foster. This guide explores this notion in more detail to inform you of all of the logistics around fostering while renting, or renting out your home as a foster parent.

Can you foster in a rented house?

As long as you have a spare room (as this is one of the primary fostering requirements), whether you rent or own a property would not determine your eligibility to foster. If you do want to become a foster parent and you live in rented accommodation, you will need to demonstrate stability. You will also need to seek permission from your landlord before you begin the fostering assessment period.

As long as you have the essential character traits to become a foster parent – such as patience, understanding, compassion and a desire to help change a young person’s life – renting a property will not affect your ability to foster. Naturally, your home will be thoroughly assessed as part of the fostering assessment process – including if you own any pets, your living situation (whether you are fostering as a single parent, or wanting to continue working), and other elements. However, as long as you have a spare bedroom and meet the additional fostering requirements, this shouldn’t affect your eligibility.

Can you foster if you rent out your home?

If you have multiple spare bedrooms and you rent out your home to a lodger, or use it as temporary accommodation on sites such as Airbnb, this will need to be examined during your fostering assessment. A child who is moving into a foster family’s home needs to be the main priority – and their welfare, safety and personal development and growth should be at the forefront of all decisions. Above all, the child needs consistency and routine – so this should be considered when making decisions regarding how to use spare bedrooms in the home.

If you have a permanent lodger, they will have to be assessed too as part of the initial fostering process. This is because they will act as a permanent fixture in the child’s homelife, and their eligibility for being around this child needs to be determined.

However, if you advertise a spare room on Airbnb and are likely to have different people staying in the home over various periods of time, this is likely to cause complications. This is because each of the people who would be renting out a room in your home would need to be assessed, which would be especially difficult if you are wanting to advertise this as a listing for temporary accommodation. Renting out a spare bedroom on a temporary basis is not feasible when fostering a child – as the child on the fostering placement needs consistency, which would be lacking with temporary residents.

If you have any more questions about fostering while renting, or about your current living situation, please do not hesitate to get in touch with our friendly team today.

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