Who can foster?
There is no such thing as a typical foster carer.
We welcome applications from all sections of the community, regardless of ethnicity, faith, age, sexuality, disability, background, marital or employment status.
There are many myths around fostering that prevent people from enquiring as they feel they are unable to or can’t for one reason or another.
If you are thinking of fostering but think something might prevent you, we have listed 10 myths that a lot of people think stop them from becoming foster carers.
Hopefully, they answer some questions and enable you to re-consider fostering and feel positive and enthusiastic to enquire.
Top 10 fostering myths
Foster carers are required to provide care, warmth and support to any child / young person placed with them, you can do this as an individual or as a couple.
As long as you have motivation, determination, plenty of energy and a good sense of humour you have what it takes to foster!
Your sexuality does not disqualify you from fostering. Whether your gay, straight, bisexual or transgender this is not an issue.
The focus is on your ability to be able to meet a child’s / young person needs and provide them with the sense of security within a fostering home.
You are not required to be a home owner but you must have a spare bedroom for a foster child.
If you do live in rented accommodation you will need to check with your landlord before applying to foster.
Fostering requires you to be flexible, there will be demands upon you to ensure that you are able to meet a child’s needs in your care 24/7 and this should be your first commitment.
When you start the process we can discuss your job and how this could fit with fostering.
Lots of foster carers have pets, and pets can be a great aid in supporting a child in placement.
As part of the assessment process we will complete a pet questionnaire with you.
The only exception to this is that we will not place any child or young person in a home where there is a dog listed in the Dangerous Dog Act - Bull Terrier, Japanese Tosa, Dogo Argentino, and Fila Brasileiro.
It depends upon your disability – not all disabilities disqualify you from fostering.
You will need to be able to perform daily task in order to meet a child’s needs.
No parenting experience is needed to become a foster parent.
We want foster carers to come from all walks of life, all religions, identities and ethnicity.
It is more important to be able to use your life experience, experience of being parented as a child and how you become the person you are today, these skills and ability to reflect will help in your new role a foster carer.
You also have lots of opportunity to attend training sessions to understand child development and behaviours in more details.
The minimum age requirement to foster for Havering is 25 year but besides that, there is no upper age limit.
As long as you are in good health and have the energy to meet children needs you can become a foster parent.
Fostering for Havering means you are never on your own, we offer support 24 hours a day 7 days a week.
We work with prospective carers to provide information and training to prepare you for your first placement and once approved you receive regular supervision and opportunity to attend training.
It is not essential to be able to drive for fostering, but it does help, as there will be a number of meetings and responsibilities involved in caring for a child.
These include school runs and contact.