We need people with space in their heart, and in their home

Our foster carers come from all kinds of backgrounds, cultures and walks of life. We have all sorts of shapes, sizes, ages and plenty of different life experiences. They are from all corners of Reading and beyond, and types of homes. Just as every one of our children are unique, every foster family is unique too.

There are some common myths that people believe about fostering, which we tackle below.

You can be single or in a relationship

You don’t have to be married or in a steady relationship to become a foster carer. Plenty of our foster carers are single. Those who do foster on their own do say that they have their own fantastic support network around them, as well as from Brighter Futures for Children, so do have a think about who could be there for you.

Find out more from Liz, one of our single foster carers.

We welcome LGBTQ+ foster carers

We actively encourage people of the LGBTQ+ community to find out more about fostering. We are a member of New Family Social, a UK charity run by LGBT+ foster carers and set up to support you on your journey to fostering. In New Family Social’s 2011 survey, 76 per cent of social workers thought LGBT people’s openness to difference and ability to empathise with fostered children was a significant strength.

One of our young people is living with a same-sex couple: ‘Our foster child says he loves living with us and wouldn’t want to be anywhere else, he likes having an open mind and not being judgemental. He says he has learnt that with positive minds and hard work anyone can achieve a good life.’

You don’t have to own your own home

Many people believe they have a mortgage or own their own home in order to become a foster carer. You don’t. However, if you do rent, you will need written permission from your landlord. It’s also not about how big your home is. As long as you have a spare room for a child to use as their bedroom, you can foster.

What about work?

For us, it’s all about balance. We believe that fostering is a job in itself. As well as the usual commitments for bringing up children, you also need to think about things like monthly visits with your supervising social worker and ensuring your foster child has contact with their birth families. Plus, having too many job commitments elsewhere would impinge on the flexibility and the ability to react to a crisis situation.

Therefore, we would suggest that in a two parent household, one person is fully focused on the fostering, having no work commitments elsewhere. For a single applicant it would be essential that if they work, they have very flexible work arrangements, and would only be working part time.

Find out more on our ‘Who can foster?’ page.

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Our goal is to find more foster carers for our children and young people in Reading. How can you help? 

  • If you’d like to find out more about fostering and become a foster carer yourself, get in touch with us. Our friendly fostering team are at the other end of the line on 0118 469 3020. You can also enquire and you’ll get a call back.
  • If you’re not able to foster yourself but would like to help, you can help us spread the word.
    • Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn and share our posts
    • Tell someone if you think they’d be a great foster carer! This can be a family member, friend or colleague.
    • Invite someone to one of our information events.