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What Disqualifies You From Being a Foster Parent UK

Becoming a foster parent is an amazing thing to do and you shouldn’t let worries or concerns about not being right for the role prevent you from taking the first step and approaching an independent fostering agency, like Family Fostering Partners!

If you’re new to foster care and considering applying, you may be wondering if you’re suitable and if any criteria disqualify you from being a foster parent. The good news is that most people are eligible to foster and there are very few factors that will bar you from becoming a carer should you wish to!

Who can foster?

Foster carers come from all different walks of life and have different experiences and backgrounds; each carer brings something different and unique to the table and helps to bring joy and love to a foster child in need. Anyone from any background, heritage, gender identity, and religion can foster and it doesn’t matter about your sexual preferences, marital status, or any other defining feature that makes up your identity. We believe that diversity makes everyone stronger and the unique things about everyone should be celebrated!

Foster care requirements - the must-haves

To foster, there are a few requirements that you must fill. These are essential and if you do not meet these, you will not be allowed to begin your application. Firstly, you must be aged over 21. Secondly, you must be a full time resident of the UK or have leave to remain, and lastly, you must have a spare bedroom in your home.

All of these criteria are non-negotiable and must be met to proceed with your application. You can find a more detailed explanation of the fostering criteria in our blog post here.

A spare bedroom is essential

We often get questions about the spare bedroom rule and what this means. A spare bedroom is a room in your home that has essential furniture such as a bed, wardrobe, chest of drawers, and space to keep personal belongings. The bedroom cannot be shared with another person including any of your own children. It doesn’t matter if you own your own home or if your house is rented as long as you have a spare room for a foster child to call their own. This is important for giving them a sense of their own space and privacy.

Can I foster if I have a criminal record?

Having a criminal record will not necessarily bar you from fostering. If you have a genuine interest in becoming a carer, it’s always best to contact an agency, like ourselves, and speak with a professional fostering advisor who will be able to offer you tailored advice.

You will not be considered for fostering if your caution or conviction is related to violence against children or a sexual offence. This is important as safeguarding children is always a number one priority for foster care agencies. This rule applies if either you or your partner has a conviction as everyone within the household will be assessed as part of the application.

For other types of offence, your individual circumstances will always be considered so it’s best to be open, upfront, and honest about your background so that your advisor can give you the most appropriate support and guidance.

Can I foster if I have pets?

Pets are a fantastic addition to any household and bring plenty of love and joy to families. Usually, it is no problem to foster if you have a pet. Your pet will be considered as part of your home assessment during your application and there are usually no issues. However, we do not allow applications from anyone who owns a pet from the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976 and the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991/1997. For more information, please read our dedicated blog post on fostering with pets.

Can I foster if I have health problems or a disability?

No diagnosis will stop you from fostering in the UK as long as you are fit and healthy enough to care for a child full time. Your health condition or disability must not affect your ability to provide nurture to a foster child every day. This applies to anyone with a physical health condition or a mental health condition. As part of your application, you will have a medical check and will be assessed on your ability to deal with the challenging nature of the role. Individual circumstances are always considered and you have a chance to discuss everything openly with your supervising social worker.

Don’t let worries stop you, contact us today!

Overall, if you have a strong desire to become a foster parent and help make a huge difference to young people’s lives in your area, what’s stopping you? Any worries or concerns about your suitability to foster can be discussed confidentially with professional fostering specialists at Family Fostering Partners.

There are many options for contacting us, so simply choose one that suits you! Either book a call, request an information pack, or ask us a question. Alternatively, you can ring us yourselves whenever you’re ready on 03300 948816.

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