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Who can foster?

There can be a lot of misconceptions about what it takes to be a foster carer but don't rule yourself out too soon!

Sadly, too many potential foster carers rule themselves out as being able to foster. They assume that one aspect of their lifestyle or background rules them out when quite the opposite is true.

At Blackpool Council, we value diversity, and we see this as an essential aspect of fostering.

We are often asked, am I too old or too young? Does my experience as a parent count? Can I foster alone? Does it matter if I am gay? And so many more questions that people understandably have.

Here, we cover some of the most frequently asked questions about who can foster.

I live alone and have been told that I can’t foster. Is this true?

No, not at all. We welcome applications from single people. We have plenty of single foster carers who do a fabulous job caring for children and young people.

You will need to have a spare bedroom in your home, and to have had some experience of caring for or working with other people’s children.

I am part of the LGBTQ+ community. Is it ok for me to foster?

Absolutely. We proactively encourage anyone from the LGBTQ+ community to apply to become a foster carer because we value diversity and assess people purely on their ability to foster.

Can I foster if I live in rented accommodation?

Yes, you can. The important thing is that you have the right environment and space and can demonstrate that you are financially secure. You will need to have a spare bedroom, and you must seek permission from your landlord before fostering.

I want to foster, but I have never been a parent. Does this matter?

No, while we encourage applications from foster carers who are parents, it’s not essential. You may have other experience of working or caring for children and young people.

Perhaps you work in a school environment, volunteer at a youth club, are a scout leader, or work in health and social care. Everyone’s experience is different. If you’re wondering whether yours would qualify, give us a call on 01253 420222, we would welcome an informal chat.

Will age count against me?

While there is a lower age limit (of 21 years old), you might be surprised to know that there is no upper age limit. We particularly welcome foster carers whose children have grown up and flown the nest. Foster caring is a great way to supplement retirement earnings, of course.

We will consider your health as part of our assessment process, but this is the same with all applicants. Our focus is to make sure that you can give a child a stable home environment and have the energy to keep up with them!

I won’t be able to foster because I have a dog.

Dogs - just like any pet - are part of the family, and we recognise this. They will not be a barrier to your application to become a foster carer. However, as you would expect, we will need to carry out a safety assessment. There will be certain exclusions if you own a breed of dog that is identified as having aggressive tendencies or is registered under the Dangerous Dogs Act.

For the most part though, having a dog is a wonderful addition for a foster carer to have.

In summary…

You can foster a child through Blackpool Council whatever your marital status, ethnicity, religion, age, gender, or sexuality. The important thing is that you share and can do the following:

  • Build good relationships with children and other people in their lives.

  • See the potential in every child.

  • Provide a stable and loving family home through the highs and lows.

If you can put children at the centre of everything you do, in the same way that we do, then fostering could be a great career choice for you.

Simply contact us today for an informal chat – we’d love to hear from you or request an information pack.