Myths around what makes a good foster carer are being dispelled on social media by the Department for Education.
The mythbuster shows that the things many people see as obstacles to becoming foster carers are in fact not barriers at all, and that it is easier to do than people think.
Among the myths dispelled today (11 June 2015) are that those who are not married or already have children would not be able to foster. It also makes clear that sexuality is no barrier to becoming a foster parent.
And it coincides with Foster Care Fortnight, a national campaign run by the Fostering Network to highlight the need for more foster carers from a wider variety of backgrounds.
This year’s campaign runs until 14 June, and asks people to ‘make a connection’ to fostering.
Edward Timpson, Minister for Children and Families, and whose own family fostered around 90 children said:
As someone who grew up in a large fostering family, I know only too well that not only do those who foster often find it a hugely rewarding experience, but most importantly, the impact on the children they’ve cared for - and connected with - can be life-changing.
Every child deserves a loving home and the chance to thrive. As we mark Foster Care Fortnight, it’s vital that as many people as possible, from all walks of life, are encouraged to both think about fostering and go on to take that positive step of opening up their home to children in real need of their help.
Chef and author Lorraine Pascale, who was fostered as a child and is the government’s first Fostering Ambassador, said:
Fostering is a cause that’s very close to my heart and I know from personal experience how important foster carers are.
And while it’s a vital role, it’s also important to make sure people know that it’s easier than they might think to become a foster carer. Many of the things people think are barriers in fact aren’t.
Every child is different, and that’s why I’d like to see people from all walks of life giving serious thought to becoming foster carers and helping give a child the very best start in life.
There is no one size fits all in fostering and what is right for one foster child might not be right for another. That is why it is important that people from all backgrounds and all walks of life consider fostering.
Notes to editor
See the mythbusters on Facebook, Twitter and Flickr.
Read more about becoming a foster carer.
To help improve children’s life chances and ensure they can enjoy the best possible start in life, we have:
- streamlined the rules around becoming a foster carer to make the process more straightforward and efficient
- provided £900,000 to help fostering services attract and retain more foster carers from a wider range of backgrounds
- introduced a fast-track process for foster carers who want to adopt
- funded Fosterline, a confidential, free advice service for foster carers
- made more than £3.5 million available to councils over 2 years to develop a range of training and support materials for foster carers, kinship carers, residential workers and adoptive parents
- provided £90,000 to Research in Practice to develop training materials for social workers on fostering and adoption
- introduced the foster-family-friendly employer policy, with the Department for Education leading by example
- introduced new provisions to improve practice around the delegation of day-to-day decision making to foster carers
- introduced a statutory definition of long-term foster placement to formalise this placement type