1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a mental health condition at least once in their lives, ranging from mild anxiety and depression to bipolar disorders. Some are treated with counselling and therapy, others with medication. None are necessarily an obstacle to becoming a foster parent with Orange Grove.
Many of our foster parents have experienced mental health conditions, yet they're still able to make an amazing difference in young people's lives. And we've found them to be an excellent support to those children in our care with their own mental health challenges.
Our primary consideration is that you’re able to provide a safe, secure and loving home for the children in your care and that the work of foster care – with all its stresses and challenges – won’t be detrimental to your own health and well-being. We need to be sure you’re able to carry out the role and responsibilities of a foster parent when you foster children.
We’ll talk about all of this during the assessment process. The things we take into consideration before making a decision include the nature and severity of your mental health condition, and how long you’ve lived with it, as well as any current treatments and medication.
As with all our foster parents, we’ll ask you to have a medical assessment with your own GP and our decision will be based entirely on your individual circumstances. Provided we’re sure your mental health won’t affect your own health or ability to care for a child, it won't prevent you from fostering and you have every chance of being approved during the application process.
Frequently asked questions
Can you foster with mental health problems?
It's estimated that 1 in 4 of us will experience a mental health problem of some kind each year in the UK. Mental health problems are experienced by many of us, and as an agency, we're here to support your individual needs.
Mental health problems, including the use of anti-depressant or anti-anxiety medication, won't stop you from fostering. As part of our assessment process, we'll explore how you manage your mental health, and ensure that you could provide a secure and predictable environment to a child in your care.
Will I need to have a medical to become a foster parent?
Yes, you'll need to complete a full medical with your GP as part of the fostering assessment process. This will cover both your physical and mental health.
It helps us to understand whether you can provide a safe and stable family environment to a child, and whether fostering is right for you in this moment in time.
Can I foster children with mental health problems?
Absolutely. In fact, it's estimated that around 45% of children and young people in foster care in the UK experience mental health difficulties. Often, this is due to the difficult past experiences they have faced.
Some of the most common mental health problems faced by young people in care include post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), attachment disorders, anxiety, depression, and self-harm.
October 31 2019
“I began to see an amazing change in him”
After some turbulent teenage years, Alison turned her life around and now uses her experience to help vulnerable young people as a foster parent.
May 3 2019
“When a child allows you to hold their hand or give you a hug – you can’t beat it”
Teresa shares how her challenging teenage years have helped her to relate to the children she’s cared for.
Ready to start your fostering journey?
One of our team is available to talk to you over the phone to answer any of your fostering queries.
You can get in touch by filling out our online enquiry form with any queries that you may have.
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We have local teams covering most of England. Find your local office today.