Fostering is an amazing experience and opportunity to help vulnerable children and young people who are unable to live at home with their biological family for one reason or another. There is always an urge for more people to step forward and to get in contact and begin their fostering journey. Many people may have considered fostering in the past, but felt they were not able to apply because of things they had heard or seen online. Below we will share some common misconceptions that people may believe and have made them to reconsider fostering in the past, we hope that this will help you to gain more fostering knowledge about things you may have not known beforehand or been unsure about and help make the fostering process clearer.
There is an urge for foster carers: As of the 31st March 2017 in England it was recorded that over 70,000 children and young persons had come into care for a range of different reasons, the most common being due to neglect and/or abuse. There is always an urge for foster carers from different backgrounds, ethnicities, races and religions as each child or young person that comes into care is an individual with different needs.
You can still work even if you are a foster carer: Many people believe that if you become a foster carer you are no longer able to work alongside fostering. However, this is not the case. As long as, your main responsibility; for example, if the child in your care needs picking up from school early because they are unwell, you need to be flexible enough to be able to pick the child up and deal with the situation. Many foster carers choose to have part time work.
The fostering process is too difficult: Although we want to ensure that we know everything about you to make sure that we can make a match between you and the child coming into your care. There is a lot of help and support along the way from our knowledgeable team who will be able to help and guide you through your application, you are never alone in the process.
Some children may be shy and reserved at first: Coming into an unknown environment can be a very daunting process. Meeting people for the first time, new surroundings. Some children and young persons may want to be alone in their room to get used to their new environment before coming to meet everyone. Be patient and give them some time to adjust.
You do not have to own your own home: Some people may have heard that you must own your own house to become a foster carer. This is not true. As long as you can provide a spare bedroom with enough space for a child or young person to live in, and demonstrate stability. Then you could change someone’s life.
There is no upper age limit: Many people are unaware that there is no upper age limit to foster a child. As long as you have the time, flexibility and the energy to foster and can provide a child with a safe and loving home, you can foster. At Sunbeam we value life experiences.
Fostering and Adoption are not the same thing: Adoption is where you provide a loving safe home for a child or young person, this is long term and permanent. Where by, fostering is where foster carers provide a safe and loving home for a child or young person until they are able to reunite with their family. Although we understand that in some cases this isn’t always possible, then other arrangements would be put into place. Both foster care and adoption requires you to take care of a child and provide them a safe loving home.
We hope that we have helped you to know a bit more about fostering with some of these facts and help clear up some of the misconceptions when it comes to fostering a child. If you would like to ask questions, or just know more about fostering and the fostering process. You can call us on 020 8799 0930 to speak to a member of our friendly team. We look forward to hearing from you.