This week, we’re exploring the myths that linger around fostering, which often stop potential foster carers from taking the first step towards becoming a carer and improving the futures of children and young people. Often people rule themselves out of fostering when they’d actually make fantastic foster carers. While we do have a set of criteria we use to help guide us towards those who are most suited to fostering with Team Fostering, we do consider all circumstances; if you have the desire to foster, it’s best to give us a call or get in touch with us here on our website, and we’ll talk it through with you.
Importantly, Team Fostering welcomes all enquiries from a wide range of carers and does not discriminate against anyone on the basis of age, race, beliefs, gender or sexual orientation. The children and young people we support come from a diverse mix of backgrounds and we seek to reflect that in the foster carers we work with.
As a starter, however, when you’re thinking about joining Team Fostering, we always recommend that you take a look at our Eligibility Criteria page. This provides the basic guidelines we use when considering your suitability to foster. Sometimes it’s not always immediately obvious why we have the criteria we do, so here we explore them in more detail. We ask that, if possible:
- You have a spare bedroom. This ensures that the child or young person you support has their own space, and often means, if you foster a sibling group of one or more children, they can be roomed together in this space. This also means that if you have your own children in your home, they can also maintain their own space without sharing it.
- You are available to care for a child or young person 24/7. While we know that for many people, their careers are extremely important to them, we do consider fostering to be a vocation, and to put the needs of the children we support first, we created a comprehensive package of fees and support to ensure that our foster carers can comfortably provide for the young people who are placed with them, without working full time. However, if your job can be flexible, or if you're self-employed, don't rule yourself out, give us a call to discuss it further.
- You live within the North East, Yorkshire or East Midlands. We have five local offices across the regions we operate in to ensure that we can provide a high standard of service to the carers, children and local authorities we work with in these areas.
- You don’t already care for any children, including your own, under the age of 10. This can vary depending on your local authority, but is based on the consideration that fostering a child can be a substantial adjustment for your own children, and you may need to consider whether that they are of an age/understanding to manage the challenges of fostering.
- If you are in a relationship, you and your partner have been together for a minimum of two years, regardless of whether you have been living together. For our carers in relationships, we consider the stability of your household situation, and if you have been in a stable relationship for two years, your partner must be assessed to become a foster carer alongside you as they are also likely to be involved in caring responsibilities.
- You are over 21 years of age. We have no upper age limit for our foster carers, and as long as you have a good level of health and wellbeing, we consider the life experience you have to be very valuable when looking for new carers. With this in mind, the expectation that younger carers should also have a sufficient level of life experience to be able to meet the needs of the children placed with them, means that we will typically only consider carers over the age of 21.
- You can drive and have access to a car. We consider this to be an important aspect of your suitability for fostering – your ability to drive will ensure that you can transport the young people you foster to school or college if needed, as well as ensuring you can travel as required for training provided by Team Fostering.
- You own your own property or have permission from your landlord to foster in a rented property. Again, to ensure we’re putting the needs of the young people we support first, we look for a stable household situation and even if you don’t yet own your own home, providing that you have agreed with your landlord that you are able to foster in the property you are renting, it shouldn’t impact on your application.
These criteria help Team Fostering to ensure that the foster carers we recruit can provide the most stable, consistent home situations for children and young people who have often experienced a great deal of insecurity in their young lives. They are also built to be flexible, and even if you’re not quite in the right situation to foster right now, you can often come back to us further down the line and we’ll be able to consider your application.
If you feel that you meet the above criteria, give us call on 0800 292 2003, leave us a enquiry, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or live chat with us right here (you'll find the pop-out chat window on the right of the page).