Myths and facts about fostering
If you are new to the idea of fostering, it is important to equip yourself with all the facts before getting involved.
We’ve compiled and debunked a list of fostering myths to give you a greater understanding of what it truly takes to become a foster carer.
Myth 1: “I’m too old to foster.”
At Key Assets, it is never too late to open your heart and home to a foster child. Our maximum age limit remains flexible provided that the Foster Carer has the ability to house, support and nurture a child in need. We match a child’s needs to a Carer based on their family’s situation and capacity. It is unlikely for example, that a baby would be placed with an older Carer.
When it comes to fostering, eligibility requirements always have a minimum age requirement. At Key Assets, our minimum age limit currently stands at 25 years old and our maximum age limit is determined by a Carer’s suitability to the child’s individual situation.
Myth 2: “I can’t foster because I work full-time.”
Whilst flexibility within your working schedule is needed, working full-time does not have to be a barrier to take on the role of a Foster Carer.
It is very unlikely that a baby or preschool child would be placed in a home where both Carers work full-time. However, placements of school age children are possible as long as the Carer has the flexibility to respond to any crisis or be able to care for a child unable to attend school because of ill health.
Respite Care is often an option for people who work full time. Respite Carers look after children for a short duration while their Primary Carer takes a break.
This could entail taking care of a foster child/young person over the weekends for an ongoing basis or for a one-off period.
Although these placements are shorter, they can still have a long-term positive impact on the child’s development.
Myth 3: “I can’t foster because I’m renting.”
As long as you are able to give your foster child their own room within your home, it doesn’t matter whether you own or are renting a house. You may need to inform your landlord of your intention to foster.
At Key Assets, in the case of infants who require constant supervision, or siblings, shared rooms are accepted.
Myth 4: “I can’t foster because I am a part of the LGBTQIA+ community.”
Independent of sexuality or sexual orientation, Foster Carers are strongly welcomed from all walks of life.
Whether you are in a same-sex relationship or are a single member of the LGBTQIA+ community, your support is needed at Key Assets.
The only requirement is that you are committed to loving and nurturing a foster child who is unable to stay with their birth parents either temporarily or permanently.
In some instances, the foster children may identify as LGBTQIA+ themselves and will need your unconditional support as they navigate that element of their life.
Myth 5: “Children in my care won’t have contact with their birth parents.”
Whilst in some circumstances the children may not get an opportunity to continue to connect with their birth parents, this is usually not the case.
For most foster children, retaining contact with their birth parents, whilst an emotionally complex situation, is essential to their sense of identity.
Foster Carers at times find it difficult to accept the child’s need to build as positive a relationship as possible with their birth parents. Key Assets understands the challenges and offers training and support.
As the Foster Carer, your role will require you to be encouraging of this relationship as it will help the child maintain a sense of identity whilst also helping to build resilience.
Regardless of whether the foster child is returning to their birth family, it is important to establish a healthy line of communication and contact between them both. To check your eligibility, click here.
Fact 1: “I am trying to have children of my own and would also love to foster. Is now a good time to start the foster care process?”
If you are undergoing IVF, fertility treatment, or trying to start a family of your own, this is not the right time for you to start the fostering process. If you fall pregnant during this time, your circumstances will change drastically. You may need to go on hold as a carer for a period of time, which would be a considerably disruptive time for a child/ young person who has just come into your care. To check your eligibility, click here.