Have you had a haircut yet? Gone shopping or had a pint in a beer garden? It’s been just over a week now since the lockdown restrictions in England were eased further and we welcomed back some old privileges. Never have some of us felt so excited to queue, which given our culture, is really saying something.
But as restrictions are lifted, so confusion can set in. With little changes to what we can and can’t do happening so often, it can be hard to keep up. Many won’t understand why, but we get it. Completely. We get that laws can be misunderstood and myths abound, because for years the same has been true for the regulations surrounding foster caring. And they don’t change nearly as often.
So, while we can’t help you decide if you need a mask or not (you probably do), we’ve decided to bust some misconceptions about fostering. After a year of pandemic, the need for foster care placements has risen by over 40% and we are looking for more amazing people to help us meet this demand.
If you’re thinking about fostering but worried you won’t fit the bill, let us lift some mythical regulations for you.
Myth 1 – You need GCSEs to foster
No, you don’t need to have passed your GCSEs, O-Levels, A-Levels or any exams when you were at school. There are no specific qualifications required to apply to be a foster carer, so don’t fret if your French has expired. As you go through the application process, we’ll support you with all the training you need to be a brilliant carer.
Myth 2 – You need money to foster
Nope. We welcome applicants on low and high incomes. You don’t need to own your own home either, although you will usually need a spare bedroom so children placed with you can have privacy and space. As a foster carer with us, you can also expect excellent financial rewards in addition to festival and birthday allowances, so fostering won’t leave you out of pocket.
Myth 3 - You need to be married to foster
Again, untrue. You can be single or in a couple, male or female, gay or straight, of any race or culture. You just need to be at least 21 years old and a UK resident. We hope that’s clear enough.
Myth 4 – You need to have a clear criminal record to foster
If you have any criminal convictions, these will need to be disclosed upon application and you will need to consent to an enhanced criminal record check. However, the law states that only convictions relating to offences against children and sexual offences will automatically disqualify you from being able to foster. Other offences will be taken into consideration but won’t necessarily be a problem.
Myth 5 – You need to give up work to foster
Actually, you might not. As a foster carer, you’ll need to be available to, well, care for children placed with you and attend any relevant meetings, support groups, contact sessions, etc. This means working full-time is rare, but it is often possible to maintain a part-time job, particularly if you are caring for a child of school age.
The long and the short of it is that you could well be the sort of person that will make an amazing foster carer. If you’d like more information on the application process, please contact us and we’ll be happy to honestly answer all your questions.