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How to Become a Foster Parent if You Live with ADHD

The NHS describes ADHD in the following way; ‘Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a condition that affects people's behaviour. People with ADHD can seem restless, may have trouble concentrating and may act on impulse’, however those with ADHD know that this brief overview does not fully explain the idiosyncrasies of what it is like to live with ADHD. Becoming a foster parent whilst living with ADHD is entirely possible. Foster parenting is a rewarding task, one that requires patience, empathy, and understanding. As with anyone pursuing fostering, you can expect your journey to be filled with challenges and rewards. With the right support, support that all new foster parents require, individuals with ADHD can absolutely thrive as foster parents. In this blog, we'll explore the process of how to become a foster parent, address common concerns, and offer guidance on how to navigate the fostering journey while living with ADHD.


Can I become a foster carer if I have ADHD?

Living with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) may bring its own set of unique challenges. However, having ADHD does not disqualify you from becoming a foster carer. In fact, many individuals with ADHD possess qualities that can make them excellent caregivers, such as creativity, resilience, and a deep understanding of the importance of structure and routine.

It's essential to recognise that being a foster carer requires patience, organisation, and the ability to multitask—skills that can be learned, developed, and strengthened by choosing the right fostering agency to partner with. The love and support you provide to a child who is looked after can be incredibly rewarding and impactful, not only for the child in your care, but also for your own personal growth and development.

When considering how to become a foster parent with ADHD, it's crucial to assess your own strengths and weaknesses honestly. Are you able to manage your symptoms effectively? Do you have a strong support system in place? Are you willing to seek help when needed? By addressing these questions and being proactive and honest in the management of your ADHD, you can create a supportive environment for both you and the child or children in your care.


What health conditions and limitations stop you from becoming a foster carer?

While ADHD alone does not disqualify you from becoming a foster parent, there are certain conditions that may impact your ability to become a foster parent. As part of the fostering process, you will undergo a medical assessment with your GP. An independent doctor will then advise if you are medically well enough to become a foster carer.  Some common conditions that may affect eligibility include:

Serious Mental Health Disorders: Severe or poorly managed mental health conditions make you unsuitable to foster a child. These conditions may impair your ability or resilience to provide a safe and stable environment for a child.

Substance Abuse Issues: If you currently misuse substances or use illegal substances, you will not be able to become a foster carer. The misuse of substances will impair your ability to care for a child responsibly. However, individuals who have successfully overcome addiction and maintained sobriety are eligible to foster – click here to learn more.

Some Physical Health Conditions: Certain physical health conditions that significantly limit your ability to provide care will affect your eligibility to become a foster parent. It is important to be upfront about your ability to care physically for a child during the initial stages of looking to become a foster parent. Those with disabilities can absolutely become foster parents, however, understanding your health condition and how it may affect your ability to care for a child is crucial with regards to matching.

Criminal Record: A criminal record involving offenses related to children will automatically disqualify you from becoming a foster parent. Other forms of criminal offensives will not automatically disqualify you from becoming a foster parent. If you have a criminal record and are curious about whether you can become a foster parent, please use the ‘chat to us’ feature in the bottom right-hand corner. You will be able to speak to a member of the team who will advise you if you are eligible. Remember that each case is considered individually, and some offenses may not automatically bar you from becoming a foster parent.


Tips On How To Become a Foster Parent with ADHD

Seek Support: Building a strong support network is essential for any foster parent, especially when living with ADHD. Reach out to friends, family members, support groups, or health professionals who can offer guidance, encouragement, and assistance when needed. Like all foster parents with Family Fostering Partners, you can expect tonnes of support; provided internally by us (click here to learn more), and externally by organisations such as Foster Talk, everyone who becomes a foster parent with us at Family Fostering Partners will receive free membership of Foster Talk.

Create a Structured Environment: Establishing routines and schedules can help manage symptoms of ADHD and provide stability for both you and the child in your care. Set aside specific times for meals, homework, playtime, and bedtime, and try to stick to a schedule to maintain a routine.

Practice Self-Care: Taking care of your own physical and mental well-being is vital when caring for a child. Make time for activities that help reduce stress and improve focus, such as exercise, mindfulness, and hobbies you enjoy.

Communicate Openly: Be honest and transparent with your Link Worker at Family Fostering Partners about your ADHD and any potential challenges you may face. By being upfront about your needs and limitations, we can work together to develop strategies and accommodations that support your success as a foster parent.

Continuously Educate Yourself: Like all foster parents, it’s essential that you attend training sessions, workshops, and support groups to expand your fostering knowledge and skills.

Stay Flexible and Patient: Understand that being a foster parent comes with its ups and downs, and there may be times when your ADHD symptoms feel more challenging to manage. Be patient with yourself and remember that it's okay to ask for help when needed.

In conclusion, living with ADHD does not have to be a barrier for you to become a foster parent. With determination, support, and a willingness to learn and grow, individuals with ADHD can provide loving, nurturing homes for children.


Become a Foster Parent

If you would like to take the first step in becoming a foster parent, you can get in touch with us in a number of different ways. Our live fostering chat feature allows you to speak directly with a member of our team, alternatively, you can visit our “Contact Us” page or you can call us on 0330 0948816.


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