Anyone who considers becoming a foster carer is bound to encounter a lot of big questions about the process and requirements of becoming and being a carer. At Orchard Fostering, we’ve heard all the myths and misconceptions about foster care – some of which you may be encountering for the first time. These myths and misconceptions can be confusing or off-putting – and often, difficult to get a straight answer on.

We strive to make the foster care process as simple, clear-cut and straightforward as possible for our foster carers and the young people in their care. That’s why we’ve compiled the following list of common fostering myths and misconceptions in an effort to provide clarity on some frequently asked questions about foster care. Read on to find out all you need to know as we go about debunking fostering myths!

If you’re interested in foster care, please reach out to Orchard Fostering today. We’re available on the phone or via email – you can also fill out a form directly on our contact page. 

I can’t foster if I’m gay

This is one of the most common misconceptions in foster care and it is utterly false. Your sexual orientation or identity do not impact your ability to provide care for a young person. What matters is your ability to provide a loving, caring and nurturing home to the young person in your care. You can read up on more myths and misconceptions about fostering and the LGBTQIA+ community here.

I can’t foster if I’m trans

This is a myth. Your gender identity has no bearing on your ability to provide care for others. If you are a trans or non-binary individual, you can foster. Once again, it is about providing care for young people – it has nothing to do with your gender identity.

I can’t foster if I’m single

You can foster a young person if you are single. Foster care is about having the time and energy to dedicate to the care of a young person – if you can provide this as a single person, then you are suited to foster care. As part of the assessment process, we will discuss the importance of building a support network of friends and family who can assist you on your foster care journey. Read more about the realities of single parent foster care here – and an interview with a real-life single foster carer here.

I’m too old to foster

Provided you are over the age of 25, you can provide foster care to a young person. As such, the myth of being “too old” for foster care is false. If you feel capable of caring for a young person, then you should begin the application process – we will talk you through all the details and help you make an informed decision about foster care. Read more about age limits and foster care here.

I can’t foster if I’m renting

One of the common misconceptions about fostering is that you need to own your home to foster – this is not the case. So long as you can provide a stable home to the young person in your care, you can foster. Being a renter is not a barrier to foster care – you can read more about the process of fostering while renting here.

Will my pets stop me from fostering?

Provided the proper precautions are in place, you can certainly welcome a young person into your pet-filled home. Pets are therapeutic, they help to create bonds with your foster child, and they are great fun to have around. Read more about fostering with pets here.

We can’t move to a different county if we are fostering

This is a myth, though it does have some basis in reality. While you can move to a different county/ part of the country while fostering, necessary assessments would have to be carried out to accommodate the move. This would involve considerations around access visits, along with taking into account the young person’s wellbeing. However, it is possible. One thing to note – you cannot take part in the assessment process if you are in the midst of a move.

Do I have to be Irish to foster?

We welcome applicants of all ethnic backgrounds. Provided you hold visa or residential status in Ireland, you can be a foster carer.

I can’t foster because I’m not sure how to handle certain situations

This is one of the more nebulous myths we encounter. Sometimes, people think they may not be able to handle the challenging situations that foster care can entail. At Orchard Fostering, we provide lots of support and training to help you cope with potentially challenging situations – all of our carers are equipped with the skills necessary to deal with the realities of their day-to-day foster care duties. You can read more about managing challenging situations here – and take a look at our training and support offerings here.

If you’re interested in foster care, please reach out to Orchard Fostering today. We’re available on the phone or via email – you can also fill out a form directly on our contact page.