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Who can foster? The most common misconceptions

Through our work recruiting foster carers we often come across misconceptions around what types of people can foster.  

We conducted a research survey to explore these misconceptions further and learn more about people across England’s feelings towards foster care.  We asked whether people had fostered, or whether they have ever considered fostering.  We asked whether they knew fostering is a paid profession, or whether they were aware that people from the LGBT community could foster, among other topics. 

The results were both informative and surprising.

One thing we found was that Hull is England’s most caring city – of all the cities included in our survey, Hull was the place where people are most likely to foster. In Hull, 78% of residents said that they either had fostered or would consider fostering a child, despite only one third of the same respondents being aware that fostering is a paid profession.

Some of the other common misconceptions we found were:

  • People thought they couldn’t foster because they live in rented accommodation.
  • People thought they couldn’t foster because they don’t have children of their own.
  • People thought they couldn’t foster because they are in a same-sex relationship.

The reality is that people from all walks of life can become foster carers as long as they are over 21 years of age and have a spare room for each foster child.  This includes single people, cohabiting couples, same-sex couples and people living in rented accommodation.

At Five Rivers, we believe that every child has the right to a loving, caring home and family, and are always open to hearing from people that are interesting in becoming foster carers.

To find out more about the benefits of a career in foster care, get in touch with us on 0345 266 0272 or email

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