CAN SAME-SEX COUPLES FOSTER?
Absolutely! Your sexuality will never stop you from becoming a foster carer – what matters the most is your passion and determination to transform the life of a child.
We’re proud to support LGBT foster parents and would like to encourage even more same-sex couples and singletons to consider fostering a child today. So, whether you’re lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, and can offer a vulnerable child a stable, happy home, then we’d love to speak to you today.
CAN I BE SINGLE AND FOSTER?
Yes, you can absolutely be single and foster. In fact, we have many single foster parents from the LGBT community who are doing a fantastic job with the children in their care.
As part of the fostering assessment, we’d need to carefully consider your availability, support network and financial stability, to ensure that fostering is right for you at this time. While we receive hundreds of referrals every day, it’s important that we match the right family with the right child, which sometimes can take a little time.
We'll ensure you have the time to meet the needs of a child in care, including school runs, meetings and training, and how this may fit in with other work commitments.
We'll look at your wider support network outside of ISP and make sure that your immediate family and friends are on board and supportive of your decision to foster.
We'll check that you’ll be financially stable during short periods where you may not be caring for a child and therefore not receiving an income from fostering.
What’s the process to become an LGBT foster carer?
The process for LGBT people is exactly the same as heterosexual couples and single people.
The first step is to fill out our online form and we’ll be in touch to talk to you about the role, answer any questions and take a few details from you to check you meet the initial criteria to foster.
We’ll then arrange to visit you at home, so you can learn more about the work we do and give us the opportunity to get to know you better. You’ll then complete an application form and if accepted, you’ll start your full fostering assessment.
Helping you become a fostering professional
We offer specialist therapeutic training and a comprehensive support package to help you make a lasting difference to a child’s life. As an ISP foster parent, you'll benefit from;
- 24/7 wrap-around care – you’ll be closely supported by a specialist, local team of social workers, therapists, advisory teachers and fostering advisors – as well as a 24-hour helpline that puts you in touch with the local team whenever you need it.
- Extensive training and development – we’re committed to providing you with a first-class training programme and ongoing development to provide you with the tools and knowledge to support a child in foster care.
- 22 nights respite – you’ll receive 22 nights respite, so you have a chance to rest and rewind from the day-to-day challenges of fostering.
- Generous fostering allowance and benefits – you’ll receive a generous weekly fostering allowance, as well as other benefits, such as a holiday, summer activity and new placement start-up allowance.
- Friendly, supportive community – you’ll be part of a close-knit community of like-minded individuals all striving for the very best outcomes for children in care. You’ll be invited to regular support groups and exciting social events for children and families, so you can connect with other foster parents.
Who can apply to become a foster parent?
We welcome individuals from all walks of life to join our team of foster parents. You can be:
- Male or female;
- Single, married, divorced, co-habiting;
- Straight, gay, bisexual or transgender;
- From any ethnic group or religion;
- Any age over 21 – so long as you’re fit and healthy, and able to meet the needs of a child in care.
Of course, you’ll need to meet the initial criteria to foster, which are that you’re over 21 years old, have the legal right to work in the UK and have a spare bedroom that’s always available for a child in care.
Do I need any experience to become a foster parent?
While experience with children is beneficial, it’s not essential as our preparatory training course will provide you with the skills and knowledge you need to care for a child. Plus, with our professional circle of support - including social workers, therapists, fostering advisors, advisory teachers and other foster carers - you’re never more than a phone call away from specialist advice.
Some of our foster parents have previous experience with young people, either through work or bringing up children of their own. Others don’t have any previous experience but hold a strong desire to make a difference.
Do I need a spare bedroom to foster?
Yes, you’ll need to have a spare bedroom to foster a child in the UK - this is set out in the National Minimum Standards for fostering where it states that every child in the foster home over the age of 3 should have their own bedroom.
What is the minimum age for becoming a foster parent?
You must be 21 years or older to become a foster parent in the UK.
As with everyone wishing to foster, you’ll need to undergo a full fostering assessment where we’ll look at your ability to meet the needs of a vulnerable child or young person in care.
Becoming a foster carer is the most rewarding role you’ll ever do, however, it’s also incredibly hard work and requires your total dedication. You’ll need to carefully consider whether now is the right time for you and whether you’re willing to make sacrifices – like spontaneous evening plans and weekends away - for the benefit of the child in your care.
We’ve worked with some fantastic young foster parents over the years, who have gone on to make a huge difference to the lives of children, and many are still fostering with us today.
Can I still work and be a foster parent?
It’s possible to work and foster, however, it’s completely dependent on your personal circumstances and so we always recommend that individuals speak to one of our fostering advisers to understand whether we can make it work.
Some of the things we’ll explore include:
- Are you applying as a single applicant or do you have a partner who can help with the day-to-day fostering duties?
- How many hours you’ll be working while you’re fostering?
- Can your employer be flexible around working hours, annual leave and unexpected meetings or emergencies?
- Are you a home-based worker?
- Are you self-employed?
Do I need to own my own home to foster?
No, you don’t need to own your own home to foster. In fact, we have many foster parents who rent their property – you’ll need to get the landlord’s permission to foster.