Could you be a foster carer? Dispelling the common myths


Could you be a foster carer? Dispelling the common mythsThe Western Trust Fostering Recruitment Team is seeking to dispel the common myths surrounding who can and can’t become a foster carer.

Maybe you have thought about fostering before and thought I can’t do this because:




….I am single

….I am unemployed

….I already have my own children

….I am gay

….I am too old

  • I am single

You don’t have to be married to foster. You don’t even have to be in a couple! Single people can and do make great foster carers. Families come in all shapes and sizes and it’s not your marital status that is important but your ability to meet a child’s needs. We welcome applications from people who are single, living together, married, divorced, or separated.

  • I am unemployed

Being at home can mean that you are able to offer stable and consistent care to a child. A fostering allowance is paid to all foster carers to cover the day to day costs of caring for a child.

I already have my own children

Many people have their own children and foster at the same time. As long as you have a spare bedroom for another child, you can still foster even if your own children are still at home.  You will need to think about the difference that fostering will make to your own children and talk to them about it.

  • I am gay

You do not have to be heterosexual to foster. Your sexual orientation is not important to us when we are assessing your ability to provide a safe and loving home to a child or young person. It doesn’t matter if you are lesbian, gay, bisexual, heterosexual or asexual.

  • I am too old

There is no upper age limit for foster carers.  Being healthy, fit and active will enable you to enjoy the challenges of fostering.

Could you be someone like Heather?

‘I am just a normal mummy and a granny’

Western Trust Foster Carer Heather Cummings is helping to dispel the common myths about fostering she said: “It doesn’t take anyone with A’ levels or degrees to do this. I am just a normal mummy and a granny.…I think there are a lot of people out there who could do this as well. It’s just about lifting the phone and making the first move.

There are so many children out there who need a loving home to be safe. It’s about nurturing and caring and showing them a little love, giving them a bedroom that is theirs. If you have caring abilities, are willing to open your home and your heart to some little child who really, really, needs care and love and support and nurturing, it is very, very worthwhile.”

Vanessa Nelis, Fostering Recruitment Officer for the Western Trust explains: “People often believe these myths. Don’t.  Foster carers come from all walks of life and we welcome enquiries irrespective of age, race, religion, language, culture gender, disability or sexual orientation – don’t rule yourself out. You may be exactly who we need!

If you are resilient, flexible and feel that you could help a child to grow and develop through your care then get in touch with Vanessa on T: (028) 028 8283 5264 / 7131 4244 or email: