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Can I foster?

Can I foster?2018-07-30T10:11:14+00:00

If you’re thinking about fostering, you can take our ‘can I foster?’ quiz to see whether you’re eligible

At Fostering for Middlesbrough, we believe that all children deserve the right to grow up in a safe, secure and supportive home.

The children we care for are from diverse backgrounds in terms of their talents, skills, and needs. We need foster carers to reflect this diversity and welcome people from all walks of life.

If you are thinking about fostering, please you can take our quiz below to review your eligibility.

Begin the quiz

How old are you?

Under 21
21+

You need to be at least 21 to foster a child, but please carry on finding out as much as you can about fostering in the meantime and get back in touch when you’re ready.

You need to be at least 21 to foster, but there’s no upper age limit. You just need to be able to care for a child throughout their childhood, and offer support into adulthood.

What is your relationship status?

Single
In a relationship

We’ve been successfully placing children with single foster carers for many years. It’s useful to consider your support network, and who can offer you emotional, social, and practical support once a child is placed with you.

If you have a partner, even if they won’t be involved in your application, we’ll still need some information about them, and if or how they’ll be involved in the care of your foster children.

If you’re in a stable, committed, long-term relationship - whether you’re married or unmarried - and regardless of your sexual orientation, you can apply to be a foster carer.

What is your gender?

Male
Female

You can be male or female to foster a child.

You can be male or female to foster a child.

Are you employed?

Yes
No

You can apply to foster a child even if you’re employed, but you need to consider how you’ll balance your work commitments with those of a foster child.

Our children have often experienced difficulty in their lives so it’s great that you’re able to offer them full-time support.

Do you own your own Home?

Yes
No

Owning your own home isn’t essential to become a foster carer. It’s more important that your home has enough space, and is a secure environment for children to grow up in.

Owning your own home isn’t essential to become a foster carer. It’s more important that your home has enough space, and is a secure environment for children to grow up in.

We’d need to ensure that your tenancy is secure, and that your landlord is aware and supportive of your plan to foster, or what your alternative plan will be if that’s not the case.

Do you have a spare room?

Yes
No

You need a spare room to foster a child over the age of two as they’ll need space to rest and do their homework, but you don’t need a spare room to foster a child under two, as long as the baby has a cot in your bedroom.

You need a spare room to foster a child over the age of two as they’ll need space to rest and do their homework, but you don’t need a spare room to foster a child under two, as long as the baby has a cot in your bedroom.

Are you a UK resident?

Yes
No

That’s great. You need to have been a resident of the British Isles for at least a year to be able to foster.

You need to have been a resident of the British Isles for at least a year to be able to foster.

Our children need an established, settled environment in which to develop, so it’s important that you intend to stay a resident here to offer them stability.

Most of our children have always lived in Middlesbrough and are English-speaking, so to prevent them becoming more unsettled, you’re not able to move if you’re looking after them.

For more information please get in touch.

Do you have any criminal convictions?

Yes
No

If you have any criminal convictions, please tell us about these at the start of the fostering process.

We’ll consider the type of offence, the date it was committed, and if it affects your ability to be a foster carer.

You can’t apply to become a foster carer if you or anyone living in your household has a criminal conviction, or has been cautioned, for specified criminal offences against children and/or some sexual offences against adults.

That’s fine.

Please be aware that even if you don’t have any criminal convictions, you can’t apply to become a foster carer if someone living in your household has a criminal conviction, or has been cautioned, for specified criminal offences against children and/or some sexual offences against adults.

Do you have any health concerns?

Yes
No

Caring for children takes energy, whether it’s a short term or long term placement. As part of our assessment of your application, you’ll be asked to undergo a medical evaluation which will assess two things:

  • Your longevity – some of our children have already endured the loss of a parent, and we want to reduce the chances of them suffering further loss.
  • Health issues and how these may, or may not, affect your ability to raise and parent a child who may have been affected by their earlier experiences.

As part of the process we’d also discuss lifestyle issues such as obesity, smoking, and alcohol consumption. While these issues may not affect your ability to foster, they could present future health risks. If you’ve overcome such issues in the past, it may exemplify your personal strength and motivation to overcome problems, and could enhance your application.

If you have any concerns about health issues, please do discuss these with us.

Caring for children takes energy, whether it’s a short term or long term placement. As part of our assessment of your application, you’ll be asked to undergo a medical evaluation which will assess two things:

  • Your longevity – some of our children have already endured the loss of a parent, and we want to reduce the chances of them suffering further loss.
  • Health issues and how these may, or may not, affect your ability to raise and parent a child who may have been affected by their earlier experiences.

As part of the process we’d also discuss lifestyle issues such as obesity, smoking, and alcohol consumption. While these issues may not affect your ability to foster, they could present future health risks. If you’ve overcome such issues in the past, it may exemplify your personal strength and motivation to overcome problems, and could enhance your application.

If you have any concerns about health issues, please do discuss these with us.

Do you have any disabilities?

Yes
No

Your life experiences may have given you a unique insight into the lives of children in care, who sometimes see themselves as being different to other children or who may also have a disability. Positive relationships can teach children the importance of inclusivity and how to value difference.

That's fine.

Do you have children?

Yes
No

It’s essential that you consider how fostering a child will affect the lives of your children. How will your child feel about sharing their home with another child?

Depending on the ages of your children, you may want to discuss this with them openly before completing an application.

Foster children may have had a difficult start in life so it’s important to prepare for this, and consider how you’ll balance their needs with the needs of other children in your home. We can support you with this as your application progresses.

During your application we’d like to know more about why you’ve chosen to foster. We’ve had many foster carers who didn’t have children in their household, but it’s really helpful to think about any previous experiences you have of looking after children in your own home, and if you could increase your experience of caring for children.

Do you or does anyone in your household smoke?

Yes
No

Although we won’t automatically exclude you from fostering, we strongly advise that you give up smoking because of the proven medical risks to young children from passive smoking.

That's great!

Have you ever had contact with social services (Children's social care or Adult's social care) before?

Yes
No

We’ll check to see what previous contact you’ve had with social services in Middlesbrough, and your records will be discussed with you. We’ll consider if, and how, this previous contact might impact on your ability to care for a child.

That's fine.

Do you have any pets living in your household?

Yes
No

We know pets can bring companionship and joy to children, but we also need to be sure they don’t pose any risks. We’ll check that any pets living in your home wouldn’t be a threat to the health and safety of a child in your care, and we may also request a report from a vet.

Some of our children may also suffer from allergies which would prevent them being placed into a household with pets.

If you choose to get a pet in the future, we’d need to check that it wouldn’t be a threat to the health and safety of a child in your care.

Thank you for taking our quiz. If you think that you could offer a child from Middlesbrough the care they need to flourish please enter your details below and we will contact you for a chat as soon as we can.

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