When thinking about fostering, there are many common questions people ask. Speaking to people in Essex, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire about fostering, we’ve heard some common questions. Here are our responses to frequent questions about fostering.
Am I too old to foster?
There is no upper age limit for foster carers. There is a lower age limit of 21. Generally, in order to foster you need to be in reasonably good health with good physical and emotional resilience. Many foster carers have health conditions which they manage alongside fostering so don’t let this put you off!
Can I foster if I don’t own my own home?
Yes, as long as a secure tenancy is in place there is no need for foster carers to own their own homes. It is a requirement that foster carers have a spare room available for fostering.
Can I show affection to a foster child, e.g. hugging?
The short answer is Yes! It is really important that foster carers are warm and nurturing towards the children they look after. Foster carers need to put fair and firm boundaries in place in the context of a loving home.
Shouldn’t more work be done to keep children with their birth families?
People often see fostering as part of a system that separates children and families and we therefore get asked this question a lot! A big part of the foster carer’s role is to facilitate and support contact with the birth family where that is appropriate. There are many reasons why children cannot live with their birth family but generally all options are explored by the Local Authority before a child comes into foster care.
All children in foster care will have experienced some form of loss and the foster carer must support the child in this, helping them to understand their circumstances and supporting as healthy a relationship as possible with the birth family.
Do I get paid for fostering?
Yes. Foster carers get a fostering allowance which covers all of the costs associated with fostering a child. The amount you are paid will vary depending on who you foster through. When weighing up which fostering provider to go with, we recommend that you look at what support will be offered alongside the financial element.
Over the coming weeks, we’ll be answering all your questions. If you live in Cambridgeshire and want to ask us any questions, we’ll be at St Ives festival on 14th and 15th July. Please see our Facebook page for more information or call us on 01206 299775.