Many people who enquire about fostering are often not sure if they are the right ‘type’ of person or family to foster. There is no type or a perfect foster carer. We need foster carers from all different walks of life, ages and cultures to match the different needs of the our children currently in care.
There are some things you will need to consider, such as:
- You must be able to offer a child their own bedroom so you will need a spare bedroom in your home. We would not recommend this to be one of your children’s rooms who are now at university and may return home during holidays etc. or a room you may offer for your grandchildren or family friends for sleepovers. It needs to be a real spare room.
- If you work, you will need to be flexible to meet a child’s needs in transporting to and from school, medical appointments, meetings, contact with family, and be available for the school holidays.
- You need to be age 21 years or over, we have foster carers in their twenties and late sixties.
- If you are a couple, you must demonstrate that there is permanence and stability in your relationship and it can cope with the demands that fostering may bring. You need to of lived together for at least 2 years. Couples can be heterosexual or same sex, married, unmarried or in a civil partnership. You can of course also be single to foster.
- Enquiries from people with disabilities or those with health problems are welcome. All prospective carers will undergo a medical with their own GP who will advise our service if they feel you are ‘fit to foster’.
- If you, or anyone in your household smokes, you will be unable to care for a child under the age of five. A non-smoking environment is expected for all children in care, including inside your home and car.
- If you have pets, you will need to demonstrate they pose no danger to a child. We regularly carry out ‘pet assessments’ as part of our assessment of carers.
- If you, or anyone in your household, has a criminal record, your enquiry will be considered on the seriousness of the offence, how long ago it took place and how you have lived your life since. A criminal conviction does not necessarily prevent you from fostering, however, offences involving violence, drugs and alcohol or of a sexual nature will be looked at very seriously and may prevent you from fostering.
- If you are an employee of Warrington Borough Council you can still foster for our service and we would welcome your enquiry. We will assess each case on an individual basis depending on your job i.e. if your job involves daily work with children in care we would need to discuss this with you.
There will be many more questions and areas that we will cover with you at our information sessions and during the home visit to you to discuss your enquiry in more details. Click the enquire now button and we will respond with our information pack.