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Do you want to foster a child, but feel something is holding you back? You may be considering being a foster parent, but you think your situation won’t allow you. You might be confident that you can give a foster child the love and care they need, but because of hearsays, you are ruling yourself out of fostering. Is it because of who you are, what you do, where you live, or your health condition? Whatever it is, let’s get the facts straight and answer your “can I foster if..” questions.

Can I foster even if I am a member of the LGBTQ community?

Yes. Being a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer doesn’t cross you out of the list of who can foster a child. Your sexual orientation won’t dictate your suitability as a foster parent, and will not ever stop you from becoming one. As long as you can give a loving, caring, and safe home for a precious child, you are very much welcome to foster a child. At Courage Community Foster Care, we are open to working with anyone from any backgrounds and sexualities.

Can I foster even if I am single?

Yes. You don’t have to be married to foster a child. There are a lot of single foster carers out there, and they have been awesome. It doesn’t matter if you are a single man or a single woman, what matters is you are secure and stable with your life to establish a support system for the child.

Can I foster even if I possess a criminal record?

Certain criminal records prohibit you from fostering a child, according to the law. These are records attributing to an offense against children and sexual offense. Minor offense won’t hinder your application to fostering. At the point of application to foster, a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check is mandatory wherein the fostering service agency will disclose your criminal record. Any convictions and cautions revealed on your DBS check will be deliberately explored by the fostering agency in your presence.

Can I foster even if I have full-time work?

This depends on the fostering service if they permit fostering alongside working. But yes, it is possible to foster a child while having work, part-time or full-time. Being a foster parent requires your time and attention to attend meetings, support groups, school activities for the child.
The child’s age and situation that would be placed in your care will also determine if it’s possible for you to be a foster carer alongside full-time work.

But the fostering company should find a child suited to your situation at the best they could. In some cases, some children only need a short time to be fostered, and thus, you will be able to balance your work responsibilities and foster responsibilities well.

Can I foster even if I haven’t experienced working with children?

Yes, you can. To foster a child doesn’t mean you have to have experience working as a teacher, at a nursery, or any childcare related jobs. However, it would be helpful for you if you have. The experience doesn’t have to be a profession. It could be things like babysitting, volunteering at a daycare or youth clubs, or experience from caring for family and friends’ children.

Can I foster even if I have children of my own?

Absolutely! What is there to restrict you? Your children will be favorable for the foster child and vice versa. Plus, they can treat each other as siblings and have fun, learn, and develop together. Your experience of raising your own children will also be advantageous for you as you are already knowledgeable about parenting styles and already acquired parenting skills. Though the parenting style you incorporated into your biological child may not be suitable for your foster child, at the least, you have the basic knowledge of child development and know-how with dealing with a child.

Can I foster even if I am disabled?

Yes. Part of the fostering service application is to assess if you are physically and psychologically capable of caring for a child and meeting his or her needs. This will then be the decision-maker if you are qualified to be a foster parent. Any named illness, health condition, or disability cannot turn down your inquiry.

Can I foster even if I am over 60 years old?

Yes. An upper age limit for a foster carer is not determined. Age is just a number. It shouldn’t be a reason for you not to pursue becoming a foster parent. As long as you have the desire and passion for being a part of a child’s life, you are very much welcome at Courage Community Foster Care to foster a child and make a change. You only need to be healthy enough, capable of looking after a child, and having the skills and attributes appropriate in fostering; then, you are all set.

Can I foster even if I have a religion?

Yes, by all means. One of the foster service organizations’ responsibilities is to match a potential foster parent with children needing temporary parents. The culture, ethnicity, and religion will be taken into consideration. If possible, we will match children and foster carers that have the same religion.

But if it is not possible, it is vital to agree and accept the religious difference and that the child’s religious needs are still met. Most importantly, respect for each other’s religious beliefs should be present, and certain ethical issues should be discussed, such that both parties are still abiding by the fostering policies.

Can I foster even if I don’t drive?

Yes but in the condition that public transportation is good and easily accessible at your place of living. While the child is in your care, it is expected that you have to take him or her to school, workshops, meetings, training, appointments with the birth family, and provide leisure activities. So driving and owning a vehicle will be very advantageous, but not necessary.

Can I foster even if I am living under the care of my parents?

Yes, you can foster. The private child placement agency only needs to be sure of who would be the main foster carer. And during the assessment, the persons who would be involved need to be evaluated and approved for the foster child’s safety. This means that if you are living with your parents or anybody else that would also contribute to the child’s rearing, they also have to pass the assessment as much as you should.

Can I foster even if I don’t own the house we are living in?

Yes. Many foster carers rent their place of residence. You don’t have to own a house to foster a child, provided that your housing position is secure. The requirement is you have a spare bedroom and a safe, secure place to offer the child that also meets the standard, ensuring that the foster carer won’t disregard the child’s privacy.

Can I foster even if I don’t have a certain salary?

Yes, if you can demonstrate financial stability. Not having a steady income or fixed salary per month will not restrict you from fostering a child. Yes, you will receive payments that are not taxable for fostering a child, to be paid by the children’s County of origin, but this should not be the main income source of the fostering family. There might come a time that there will be no fostering income, and you have to manage through it. Hence, you should think of other additional income opportunities.

There are really not many restrictions imposed for you not to be suitable to foster a child. A fostering service should treat every applicant fairly, without prejudice, and with respect. Whatever your ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, and economic status is, we encourage you to apply. Let not these things be the reason for you to put off your desire to foster a child.

Now that you have already decided to foster and change a child’s life, the first step is for you to be certified. We at Courage Community Foster Care can help you be one, and lead you throughout the process until you have decided which children are the best match for you. But, if you still have questions about who can foster and who cannot, feel free to leave us a message and we will gladly answer your questions.

We work in the Denver metro area, El Paso County and surrounding areas, and the Eagle, Lake, and Summit counties’ rural communities, certifying families for fostering and adoption. Check us out. And if you have any questions and inquiries about our services, do not hesitate to reach out to us. You can give us a call at 719-321-4319 or leave us an email at [email protected]