When you’re researching what it’s like to become a foster carer, you may come across various stories and personal anecdotes about the experience. As the worldwide web can be fraught with conflicting information, we’d like to dispel a few of the most common untruths surrounding the journey into fostering.
Myth number one: I don’t have a spare room, I can foster
A spare room is a pre-requisite to becoming a foster carer. This is important as it provides the child or young person with a safe, secure place to call their own. They will not be able to share a room with your child, as it’s paramount they have their own private space.
Myth number two: I’m single, I can’t foster
You don’t need to be in a relationship to foster. We welcome applications from all walks of life and many of our carers are single.
Myth number three: I’m not a homeowner, I can’t foster
Having a mortgage isn’t a pre-requisite to becoming a foster carer. Providing a safe and secure home to a child is. We do accept applicants who are renting.
Myth number four: I have a full-time job, I can’t foster
Many of our carers have full-time careers. You will need to attend regular meetings for the child (or children) in your care. However, if you’re able to meet the child’s needs, you can foster. Some people with demanding jobs may decide to foster older children with more independence.
Myth number five: I have my own children, I can’t foster
If you have your own children, you may want to discuss this with them and make sure they’re ready to take on the experience as much as you are. You will have to dedicate a lot of time to any new foster child, which means your own children will need to adjust to this. Many of our carers have children too and tell us it’s a rewarding and positive experience for the whole family. Read some of our foster carer stories.
Myth number six: I’m not heterosexual, I can’t foster
Your sexual orientation is of no concern to us and does not influence whether or not we think you’ll make a good carer. Lambeth’s carer community is diverse and we’re proud of this. We welcome LGBT+ carers.
Myth number seven: I’m retired and too old, I can’t foster
This is a myth. If you’re over 21 you can foster. There are so many different types of foster care, we’re sure we can find one to suit you, whatever your life stage.
Myth number eight: I have a disability, I can’t foster
As long as you can provide a child or young person with a safe, secure place to call their home, your disability should not prevent you from fostering.
Myth number nine: I have an underlying health condition, I can’t foster
Yes, you can still foster if you have a health condition. As part of the application process, you will need to have a medical assessment with your GP. This will be sent to our medical advisor who will give us independent advice on your fitness to foster. Only in very few cases, where this could interfere with your ability to care, will it mean you’ll be turned down. Please do get in touch if you’d like to talk to someone about your individual circumstances.
Myth number ten: I don’t live in Lambeth, I can’t foster for Lambeth
We welcome applicants from all over London and beyond.
Myth number eleven: I have pets, I can’t foster
Having pets will not disqualify you from fostering and many children love and appreciate their carers having pets!