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Questions about your eligibility to foster

Wondering what we're looking for in a foster carer or what might prevent you from fostering? Please be reassured, there are very few barriers to fostering. Let's look at some of the most common questions about your personal circumstances and whether or how they have an impact on your eligibility to foster

Can I foster if I'm single?

Yes we welcome applications to foster from single people. It's a common misconception that you must be married or part of a couple to foster as this simply isn't the case. If you are in a relationship, it's really important that you are both able to commit to the role. Potential foster carers in a couple need to have lived together for two years or more. You should also be in a stable relationship. If you become a fostering family as part of a couple and the relationship breaks down in the future, your fostering status may be reviewed. 


Can I foster if I'm LGBTQ+?

Your sexuality and gender will not impact your application to foster. We welcome applications from anyone who believes they can make a positive impact on the lives of children and young people. 


Can I foster if I have a child/children of my own?

Yes we value the experience potential foster carers who are parents bring to fostering. But you don't need to have experience of being a parent to apply to be a foster carer. 

Our foster carers tell us that being a fostering family enriches the lives of their own children as well as those who stay with them. The application process places the needs of all children at its centre. As part of the process, we will consider how you will continue to meet the needs of any children already living with you and those who you'd welcome into your home. We'll work with you to explore arrangements and needs to assess how different types of fostering might be a fit for your family and circumstances. 


Will my family have to be assessed?

Yes, all members of a household will be included in the fostering assessment process. We speak to all adults and children within the home because we need to understand how fostering would work for you and your family. Living alongside your own children can give children who are placed with you a valuable experience of family life. 

Your children will need to share their parents with those coming into the home and may have questions or concerns that we can help with. The assessing social worker will consider all children's feelings and needs as part of the fostering assessment. 


Can I foster if I don't drive?

You don't have to be a driver to be a foster carer, but, being a driver can really help for the day to day activities of fostering. As a Foster with North East foster carer, the children and young people staying with you will usually be from your local area. We recognise the value of using public transport. But you will need to consider how school age children will get to school, which may be a few miles away. 

You will also be responsible for transporting any babies, children or young people in your care to any medical or other appointments. Depending on contact arrangements, you may also need to help facilitate visits with a child's birth family. 


Can I foster if I have health issues?

Physical or mental health issues will not necessarily prevent you from becoming a foster carer. What is important is that you are fit and emotionally healthy enough to provide stable care and support for a child or young person. Each prospective foster carer must have a medical assessment with their GP. The report will be used by our Medical Advisor to assess whether any on-going health issues may impact on your capacity to care for a child or cause a deterioration in your health. If you have any preliminary questions about health conditions, please do get in touch with the Foster with North East foster team.


Can I foster if I have a pet?

Yes you can, they will also be assessed as part of your assessment process. A family pet can be a real asset in a fostering household. Any pets who live with you will be assessed as part of your application. We need to check that any pet dog is not a dangerous breed. Every animal is different. The temperament and behaviour of your pet(s) will be assessed along with their habits and routines. The aim is to identify any factors that could be risky to a child or the pet but having a pet doesn't ordinarily exclude you from fostering. 


Can I foster if I smoke?

It's a myth that smokers can't become foster carers. However, it's worth noting that babies and children aged under five aren't placed in smoking/vaping households. We will always encourage smokers/vapers to give up and attend a stop smoking course. Smoking/vaping should never happen inside the home, so if you continue to smoke/vape, you will need to commit to smoking/vaping outside.