If everybody was the same, life would be very boring!
There are many different reasons why a child may be placed into foster care and likewise, foster carers come from all walks of life, each with different experiences and skills to give. There are many misconceptions about what it means to be a foster carer, here are some of the most common myths about fostering.
"The best thing about fostering is supporting a child in whatever they do and seeing the smile on their face when you do so.” - Jamie, existing Foster Carer
You have to have a big house to foster One of the biggest worries our potential foster carers have is the suitability of their home. You don’t have to live in a castle with twenty bedrooms to be a foster carer! Foster carers are regular people with regular homes, your home just needs to be safe and adequate, ensuring your looked after child has their own bedroom.
Looking after a looked after child is expensive People choose to become foster carers for a variety of reasons and although money might not be your first concern, it is important that foster carers are able to provide for their looked after children. Not only that but they should be rewarded for their hard work! Alongside a generous weekly payment, there is a whole host of financial support available for foster carers, including discounts for foster carers in the local area and even free activities and classes!
You need to have qualifications Although a good standard of English is required to be a foster carer, beyond that - the sky’s the limit! Foster carers come from all kinds of different educational backgrounds and that is why the training you receive as a foster carer is invaluable. All of your experience is important, whatever it may be and the Skills To Foster course will allow you to develop and harness these skills.
Local children get moved away from their community When you foster with a local authority like us (Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council), you will be looking after local children. While fostering services may cover a wider geographical area, we are incredibly proud of our commitment to Rotherham’s children. Keeping a looked after child as close to the area they know as possible can have huge benefits in helping them maintain a sense of stability and consistency in their lives at a time when they may be experiencing some upheaval.
You have to quit work to be a foster carer Just like any child, every looked after child has different needs and requires different levels of support. Many foster carers continue with their careers alongside foster care and your home matches are always discussed with you beforehand to make sure they are right for you and your family. There are different types of foster care such as emergency or respite care which can require varying levels of time commitment. It is also worth considering the requirements of children of different ages. For example, it may be easier for you to continue a part or full-time job while fostering a teenager than with a small child or baby.
I would love to foster – but I can’t afford to Financial worries are an extremely common concern and although it is understandable, we don’t leave you to cope with the finances alone. We will provide you with a competitive weekly allowance. Not a lot of people know this about fostering and it’s something which can hold many back.
We hope this article goes some way to help answer some questions or concerns about fostering. If you’d like some more information, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our fostering team or look at some of our other frequently asked questions.
Learn more about fostering in Rotherham
If you have any questions about fostering in Rotherham, book a call back with a member of our experienced team at a time that suits you. All our call backs are confidential.