Considering Fostering in Wiltshire?
We’re on the lookout for caring individuals who can help change the lives of vulnerable young people by fostering in Wiltshire.
As with most places in the UK, there are simply not enough foster carers in Wiltshire right now to care for the number of children in need. If we cannot find enough carers willing and able to offer their homes to these children, some will find themselves living a long way from family, school, and friends, being split up from their siblings, or being placed with a foster carer who does not have the ideal skills and experience to meet their needs. That’s why we need your help.
At Simply Fostering we aim to make the process of applying to become a foster carer as simple as possible. Using our free agency matching service, we pair prospective carers with the local foster agencies who are best suited to meet their requirements. If you believe you have what it takes, we’d love to hear from you.
Fostering Myths Debunked
Regrettably, people who would often make fantastic carers are put off by commonly held misconceptions. To help you take that next step we have debunked the top ten myths about foster care:
- I’d love to be a foster carer, but I just can’t afford to stop working right now.
To be a foster carer, you do not have to quit your job. In fact, a lot of carers have fulfilling full-time and part-time careers alongside fostering. Fostering is also becoming recognised as a full-time career in its own right. Foster carers are trained professionals who are paid for their work.
- Don’t all children in foster care have special needs?
This is not true. Although there are a considerable number of foster children who do have Special Educational Needs (SEN), there are just as many others who don’t. As a foster carer, you will never have to foster a child who you don’t feel 100% comfortable providing care to.
- I’m single, so I can’t be a foster carer, right?
Wrong! Foster carers can be single, in a relationship or married—it doesn’t matter. It’s also important to stress that you can be a single woman or a single man. Being a foster carer is not a gender-specific role.
- You can’t foster if you’ve never had your own children.
Although experience with children is beneficial, you don’t need to have had children to be a foster carer. Nor do applicants need specific qualifications. All carers receive pre-approval training and ongoing training and development to prepare them for fostering.
- They don’t let you foster if you’re LGBT.
People of all sexual orientations can be foster carers. Research carried out for the British Association for Adoption and Fostering (BAAF) shows that some children from neglected upbringings can actually get on better when placed with LGBTQ+ carers.
- I don’t own my house, does this mean I can’t be a foster carer?
You don’t need to own your house to foster, as long as each child has their own bedroom large enough to fit a single bed, chest of drawers and wardrobe
- They won’t let you foster, you’re way too old!
44% of people believe that if you’re over 55 years-old you can’t be a foster carer. In truth, there are no upper age limits to fostering. You just need to be over the age of 21 and in good health.
- I think I’d be an excellent carer, but I’m disabled.
This is a very negative mindset that can rob children of an otherwise loving environment and a potential new home. If you think you’d be an excellent carer don’t let anything hold you back.
- I can’t foster because I have pets.
Like other families, a lot of foster families also keep pets. They can help provide a therapeutic environment for children with mental or emotional health issues.
10. You can’t foster a child if you’ve got a criminal record.
A criminal record doesn’t automatically disqualify you from becoming a foster carer. The assessment process includes a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check on anyone in your household over the age of 18. The circumstances of a conviction, how long ago it was, and the manner of the offence are all factors which will be brought into consideration.
Make a Difference and Become a Foster Carer in Wiltshire Today
It’s our goal to ensure that every child in Wiltshire who requires fostering is matched with a foster carer. By fostering a child or young person from your local community, you’ll be able to give them the opportunity to continue their education at their current school and stay in contact with their friends and family. This consistency during a time of upheaval can drastically improve the likelihood of a successful placement.
If you’re from Wiltshire we’re eager to hear from you, so if you would like to find out more about being a foster carer or if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to complete our online enquiry form.