Foster Care Fortnight: Busting the Myths About Foster Caring

Interested in the Foster Care Fortnight event in Southmead, but wondering if fostering is for you? Come down and have a chat with the Foster Care Fortnight team at the Greenway Centre, Centre, Doncaster Road Southmead, BS10 5PY on the 18th May, 10am-1pm to find out more about the ins and outs of the process.

Myth 1 – “I need to own a home.”

You don’t need to own your home to be a foster carer. It makes no difference if you own your home, rent from a private landlord or are a council tenant. What is important is that you have space for a young person and that you can provide them with love and stability.

Myth 2 – “My circumstances don’t make me suitable – I’m too old, not married, gay.”

There are three things we ask before anyone applies. Are you over 21? Do you have the energy and the health to care for a child? Do you have the space in your lives for a child? Whether you’re young or old, married or single, gay or straight, we don’t turn anyone away who can answer yes to those three questions. We encourage people from all backgrounds to put themselves forward as carers as the children and young people in care come from all backgrounds as well.

Myth 3 – “I can’t afford to care for a child.”

This is an important consideration for anyone thinking of fostering a child or a young person. We would advise anyone interested in fostering to speak with our recruitment team first to understand what support is available and what allowance is given to help carers meet the costs of caring for a child or young person. Fostering isn’t charity and neither is it a job but there is help out there and we do whatever we can to make sure you have all you need to help that child or young person fulfil their potential.

Myth 4 – “I don’t think people from my ethnic group become foster carers”

Children come into care from all over the city and from all communities. When we look to place a vulnerable child, often we find that if we can provide them with a foster home with a family that share their ethnic background it can help them settle in and be more at ease with their surroundings. It’s important to us that we have carers that are as diverse as the city we live in, the city many of our children in care recognise as home.

Myth 5 – “How can I foster when my children still live at home”

Having children of your own has already prepared you for the challenges and practicalities of caring for a child or young person. We often find that families who already have children have really strong relationships between their foster siblings. The feedback from children care is that often having other children about really helps and gives them someone to relate to, someone they can talk to who isn’t a “grown up”.