Talk to us about fostering 01722 442 725

The majority of people hold mistaken beliefs about fostering

Our recent survey has revealed misunderstandings that could still be stopping people from applying to take care of the thousands of children whose lives and prospects could be transformed through fostering.

We commissioned a survey of 2,000 people across England. It found that more than half of respondents mistakenly believed that certain circumstances would render them ineligible to foster, despite 50% of respondents saying they would have considered fostering a child.

The survey found that

41% of respondents thought you needed to already be a parent to be considered to become a foster carer, while
60% were unaware that same-sex couples can foster, and
55% of people thought that being single would disqualify a person from applying to become a foster carer.

Furthermore, 70% of respondents were unaware that people with disabilities are not prohibited from becoming a foster carer and 60% of respondents didn’t know that those living in rented accommodation can also become foster carers.

In fact, people from all walks of life and from all backgrounds can foster, and the only initial requirement for applicants is that they are over the age of 21 and have a bedroom available for each foster child.

The latest figures indicating that this year 9,070* new foster families are needed to care for a range of children, with the greatest need being for foster carers for older children, sibling groups, disabled children and children with complex needs.

Nicci Willock, Director of Fostering Services at Five Rivers, said:

“It’s concerning that we might be missing out on recruiting wonderful new carers simply because they assume that they are ineligible to foster. There is currently a huge shortage of foster carers across the UK, so it’s essential that we challenge the misconceptions surrounding these perceived barriers to becoming qualified, so more people can come forward ready to help disadvantaged children when they need it the most.

Find out if you are eligible to foster – see our Frequently Asked Questions

*Figures from Fostering Network

Enquire Today

Do you feel you have the energy and true commitment to make a positive difference to a child’s or young person’s life?

Get in Touch
Request a Call