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Foster Care Myths Debunked: Separating Fact from Fiction

There are numerous myths about fostering and being a foster carer. Here at Fitzgerald Fostering in Bracknell, we have decades of experience of dealing first hand with every kind of fostering matter. We have assessed, trained, and supported many foster carers over the years, and so have been asked all kinds of fostering related questions. We wanted to use this blog post to try and put some of the most popular myths to bed.

Myth 1
You have to have a perfect family in order to foster
For us there is no ideal family, nor some kind of perfect standard you have to attain in order to become a foster carer. We believe that as long as you’re able to provide a safe environment and provide the nurturing care necessary, almost anyone can be a great foster carer.

Foster carers can be from many different backgrounds. You could be single, married, or cohabiting. You could have your own biological children or not. You could be person of faith or not. You could be a member of the LGBQT+ community or from any ethnic or cultural background. We really embrace difference and value the different experiences people bring to being a foster carer.

Myth 2
Fostering means you have to care for children with extreme behavioural difficulties
Whilst it is true that as a foster carer you may care for children that have experienced some level of trauma, it is also true that many children are incredibly resilient. Whilst some children can display negative or challenging behaviours this is not true of all children in foster care. The experienced professionals at Fitzgerald Fostering are always on hand to support you with providing the nurturing care all children need. So that you can help the children you look after to thrive and achieve their full potential, which is what makes fostering such a rewarding experience.

Myth 3
It’s a really quick process becoming a foster carer
Whilst it would be nice if it could be an almost overnight process, there are lots of checks and processes that must be made to ensure someone is suitable to be a foster carer. All these checks and processes are crucial to ensuring that foster carers can create the safe environment needed to care for a child. Due to the number of checks required and the complexities of the assessment process it can take several months to complete. However, this should not put you off as at Fitzgerald Fostering, we work with you to complete the process thoroughly but also as quickly as possible.

Myth 4
Older people can’t become foster carers
People of all different ages can, and do, become foster carers. Rather than focus on age at Fitzgerald Fostering we want to ensure you are fit to meet the needs of any children you are caring for. Therefore as part of the assessment process to becoming a foster carer you will complete a Fit To Foster medical examination. This is a basic health check-up that ensures people are deemed fit enough to foster, is paid for by Fitzgerald Fostering. Initially you would have a medical with your own GP and then this reviewed by Fitzgerald Fostering’s medical advisor.

At Fitzgerald Fostering we have foster carers from all different age ranges and backgrounds.

Myth 5
You can’t foster if you have a criminal record
Whilst it is true that background checks will be carried out on any potential foster carers, including enhanced checks regarding criminal records, a criminal record does not necessarily bar you from becoming a foster carer. Certain violent or sexual offences will mean you are not suitable to become a foster carer. However, for other offences the fostering assessment process will consider the nature of the offence, and whether or not it might impact your ability to provide a safe environment for a child.

At Fitzgerald Fostering we are happy to talk to anyone who maybe interested in fostering or is already an approved foster carer for someone else. If you contact us we can help you explore whether fostering could be for you, and we would hate for any ‘myths or other assumptions to put you off.

AuthorFitzgerald Fostering

DateOctober 25, 2023


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