Fostering is different for each family and child. It can mean a number of things – from regular short visits to something more permanent. Find out more about the different kinds of fostering, and how it could work for you.
ways to foster
who can foster
who can foster in gwynedd?
Here in Gwynedd we’re all about finding the right foster family for each child – and no two families look the same. So, if you’re wondering what a foster carer looks like, the truth is they look just like you.
Your main responsibility as a foster parent is just to care, to offer stability and safety – and you can do that whether you’re married or single, whether you have a mortgage or rent, and whatever your ethnicity or sexual orientation is.
The diversity and individuality of our foster carers is something we celebrate. When it comes to your foster application, we look at what makes you uniquely you. What matters most are the skills, the outlook and the experience you bring.
Still not sure if fostering is the right fit for you? Keep reading to learn more.
foster myths: separating fact from fiction
What do you picture when you think about foster care? Fostering can be a number of different things – from short visits to something longer-term – but at its core, it’s about making a difference in our local community. Because it’s a varied role, we need a varied mix of foster carers, each with a different story, culture and experience.
We support this fantastic mix of people with advice, dedicated training and 24/7 support – we’re always just around the corner. We’re your team of dedicated experts, your fostering family. Alongside the people who matter most to you – friends, family and community – we work together to make brighter futures for local children.
There’s one main question you should ask before starting your foster application: do you want to make a difference? If the answer is yes, we’re behind you all the way.
can I foster if I work full time?
You can work as well as being a foster carer – a full time job might be something that needs some extra thought, but it isn’t going to stop you. At the end of the day, it’s about making sure someone’s there – whenever they’re needed. This could mean planning in advance for school hours and holiday periods, and looking at the support network around you.
Some foster carers foster full time. Others foster part time, working but also offering short breaks. We look at your individual circumstances and work out, together, what the best fit is.
can I be a foster carer if I live in rented accommodation?
The important thing is that you feel secure and settled where you live, so the foster children you care for do as well. Whether you rent or pay a mortgage, you can be a foster carer.
If your spare room is empty, or used for storage, the potential is there to offer a safe and comfortable space for a child who needs it.
can I foster if I have children of my own?
Lots of our foster parents have children of their own. The experience of having a foster sibling can be really rewarding and educational – it helps children learn the importance of care and compassion, how to understand and look after people – and these are skills that last a lifetime.
Caring for foster children isn’t something you do alone, at the end of the day – it means expanding your family and joining together to do something special.
am I too old to foster?
We don’t have an upper age limit when it comes to becoming a foster parent. You could be in your 20s or your 70s – as long as you are reasonably healthy and mobile, your age is no obstacle. All our foster parents, no matter their age, get the same expert local support and training needed, to ensure you’re fully ready for the journey ahead.
am I too young to foster?
There isn’t a lower age limit with fostering either. Some people find fostering much earlier in life, and with our help and guidance they fit the role perfectly. While life experience is a great bonus, younger foster carers are just as valued and bring something slightly different to the table. Regardless of age, the choice to become a foster carer is a big one – and we’ll be with you at every step.
do couples who foster have to be married or in a civil partnership?
You can foster if you are single, and if you have a partner, there are no special rules around what kind of relationship you have. Being married, or in a civil partnership, isn’t a condition we look for – instead, it’s all about the stability the two of you can offer.
As an important person in your life, your partner is included in your foster carer application. The Foster Wales Gwynedd team will work with you both, and your extended support network of family and friends, to make sure fostering is right for you.
can I foster if I’m transgender?
Yes, you can. Your gender identity doesn’t have any impact on whether or not you’ll suit fostering – it’s your compassionate nature, your experience and skills that matter to us, and to the children you’ll have in your care.
can I foster if I’m gay?
Yes, you can. Regardless of your sexual orientation, if you are ready to commit to becoming a foster parent we will support and guide you. Fostering means choosing to care, listen and support. Being yourself and just being there, whenever you’re needed, is the most important thing.
can I foster if I have a dog or cat?
If you have pets, we’ll include them in your application and assess how well they might get on with any future foster children you care for. Pets can offer a valuable kind of friendship and support and be a real positive in a foster family, so they aren’t a barrier.
can I foster if I smoke?
Smoking is something we take into account when matching you with children in our care. Being a smoker won’t stop you from becoming a foster parent – it might just mean that some children are a better fit for you than others. We’ll also offer you guidance on how to quit smoking if this is something you’re looking to do.
can I foster if I’m unemployed?
We all go through changes when it comes to work, and this is something we recognise when it comes to becoming a foster carer. If you’re in a period of unemployment, this won’t stop you – and it isn’t a reason not to apply. We’ll work with you to make sure the timing is right, and support you through the process so you can be sure you’re making the right decision.
can I foster if I don’t have a big house?
Each foster home is unique. Not every foster carer has a large house, and at the end of the day this isn’t what is most important.
It’s about providing a place where a child can feel safe and secure. So, as long as you have a spare room, your house can become a foster home.