Fostering barriers debunked as council urges people to come forward

Recent statistics from the Department of Education show that the number of children being taking into care nationally has risen by 4 per cent and Central Bedfordshire Council is urging people to consider becoming foster carers, even if they thought they might not be eligible. 

Common misconceptions have arisen around whether or not you might be eligible to foster; things like being an LGBTQ family, or a single person, or age being a factor. Even having pets can make people think they might not be suitable, so they never take the next step to research the options.

Cllr Sue Clark, Executive Member for Families, Education and Children said: “There are so many myths and misconceptions around who can and can’t foster, and most of them are just that, myths. We’ve set up a new webpage to debunk some of those myths and give people the information they need to make a decision.

“We have an amazingly diverse community of foster carers who come from a variety backgrounds andthese wonderful people make our service really special. 

“Most people don’t realise there are many different schemes for fostering – from caring for children in an emergency, providing a short break for children or offering weekend care on a regular basis. 

“We are also seeking people to look after children and young people who need more support or long term care through to their independence.

“The most important thing is that you can give a child a home where they  shown love, respect and safety. It’s such a life-changing experience for the children and the foster carers themselves. Many of our foster carers would agree that becoming a foster carer is the best decision they’ve ever made.  

“If you are wondering whether fostering is for you, or are worried there might be a barrier to you fostering find out more at https://www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/foster-myths. You could help children in your community stay local to the people they love and the places they are familiar with.”

Here are the answers to some of the questions that people regularly ask us about whether they can foster

I’m single, so does that mean I can’t foster?

Yes you can!  We have many single people who foster.

I rent my home so does that rule me out of fostering?

If you have a secure tenancy and your landlords permission we can consider you as a foster carer.

I’m well into retirement, is that too old to foster?

There is no upper age limit to foster, if you are fit, healthy and active give us a call and find out more.

I’m in my twenties, is that too young to foster?

If you are over 21 years of age you can apply to foster.

Will being part of the LGBTQ community be a barrier to me being a foster carer? 

We would love to hear from members of the LGBTQ community who would like to find out more about fostering.

Still think you can’t foster? You’d be surprised! Go to: https://www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/foster-myths to see if you can. You can also get in touch with the Fostering Team by calling 0300 300 8181 or email: fostering@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk.