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Can You Foster If You Have Health Problems?

One of the leading questions we get asked at Fostering Solutions is whether you can become a foster parent if you have health problems. While it largely depends upon the severity and type of the problem, health issues don’t automatically prevent you from becoming one of our valued carers. Below you’ll discover everything you need to know about health and fostering.

Mental health and fostering

Each year in England, 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem. Whether it’s depression, anxiety or bi-polar disorder to name just a few; mental health problems have become a lot more recognised in recent years. So can you foster if you’ve been diagnosed with a mental health condition?

While having a mental health issue isn’t automatically going to affect your chances of being accepted, it will depend upon a number of factors. Whether you’re taking any medications to manage your condition, how long you’ve had the problem, what type of issue you’re dealing with, and the severity of your condition will all be taken into account.

Foster children often come from a broken home. There are exceptions to this, but the majority do sadly come from disadvantaged or abusive backgrounds. They have already been through so much in their little lives so it is vital they are placed within a safe, secure and loving home. If the mental health issues you are dealing with could affect your ability to provide this then may affect your chances of being accepted. However, we do encourage you to contact us to discuss your individual circumstances.

The number one thing we care about is that you can provide a stable, loving environment.

Physical health and fostering

As part of the application process we may require an adult health check done via your doctor, so that we can determine the current state of your health. Again our main concern is that you are fit enough to look after, and meet the needs of, the children in your care. Conditions such as asthma and diabetes for example, would not usually affect your chances of approval.

Foster carers are generally required to be fit enough to keep up with, and look after, a child. As with mental health issues, we assess physical health problems on an individual basis. We will always discuss your situation with you to develop a better understanding of whether you would be a good carer before we make a decision regarding your application.

Overall, providing your mental or physical illness will not compromise your ability to be an excellent carer, you have just as much chance as anybody else to be accepted! We don’t automatically reject an application purely because of an existing or past illness.

So if you’re considering applying with us but are worried you won’t be accepted, please do get in touch so we can discuss your individual circumstances and hopefully your future as a foster carer.