There are a lot of things you’ll need to consider when you decide to foster, some around the practical requirements of the role, others around the impact it will have on your lifestyle. You don’t want to plan and get your hopes up, only to realise you don’t have a spare bedroom or your family are not supportive of your decision. A lot of thought needs to go into it. After all, you will be caring for a vulnerable young person.
One question that you might have is: can I foster while renting? Fostering while renting is allowed. Being a renter should not affect your application as long as you have your landlord’s permission to foster a child in the property. If you have landlord permission, there’s a spare bedroom and you can provide a stable, suitable home for the foster child, you should be fine.
Of course, you might at some point want to own a home. We’ve put together some information around mortgages for foster carers if you are a renter wanting to buy your first property.
Have a Spare Room
Having a spare room is an essential requirement for becoming a foster carer. The spare bedroom is required because it means the child has their own space where they can escape to if they need some time on their own. It also provides vital privacy to everyone in the home including the foster child, yourself and any other children in your home.
Provide a Stable Home
To become a foster parent, you need to provide a stable home. Young people need a safe and comfortable place to live. That means safety, security, cleanliness, comfort and a positive family environment where a child can thrive.
Your Property will Be Assessed
As you might expect, a social worker will complete a health and safety assessment on your home as part of the fostering assessment. It is routine and essential, and will simply raise any concerns around potential hazards such as fire safety, ponds, storage of medicines or potentially harmful equipment, and more. The social worker just needs to see that your house is a safe and suitable environment for a child to live. Hopefully, any concerns or potential risks identified during this assessment can be resolved and will not get in the way of your journey to becoming a foster parent. If you are worried about the assessment, you can talk to the social worker about it in advance. All fostering agencies want to help you become a good foster parent, so never hesitate to reach out.
What About if You Rent Out Your Home?
There are different rules if you rent out your home. While renting isn’t a concern, renting out your home might be. That is because the fostering agency or local authority needs to know who is in your home. They need to be sure that the foster child is safe and living with the right people.
Any adult over the aged of eighteen in England who lives in the foster home will need to have a DBS check completed. This includes family members, lodgers and any long term tenants. If your rent out your home to various renters that come and go, though, you likely won’t be able to foster children due to the instability this will cause to a child.
Things like being a single parent or renting your home shouldn’t affect your ability to foster. As long as you have a suitable home and are willing to provide the best care you can, you should be able to foster.
If you're interested in learning more about long or short-term fostering with us, we'd love to hear from you! Simply give us a call at 0800 3698513 or complete our online form. Rest assured that our team of friendly fostering advisors will be more than happy to reach out to you and answer any questions you may have. We're here to help!
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