People do not need to be married to become a foster carer; they can be single, divorced, or living together. There are no upper age limits to becoming a foster carer but in Merthyr Tydfil we expect people to be sufficiently mature to work with children, some of whom can have complex needs. It is also expected that the foster carers are fit enough to provide for the child’s needs.
Our policy within Merthyr Tydfil is that we will not consider anyone who smokes to foster children under the age of 5 because of the associated health risks for children.
If you expect the unexpected as you often might in caring for your own child, you won’t go far wrong.
It is not uncommon for children to feel withdrawn, insecure, or distressed when they arrive, and depending on circumstances this behaviour may be prolonged. Some children have been rejected or hurt by their parents and may be feeling angry, confused or anxious, so Foster Carers need to be prepared to allow such children to express themselves. This is best achieved in a safe and a secure environment, where the child’s circumstances are considered and where clear boundaries can be set.
Children who have been abused or harmed can display very disturbed behaviour and this can be daunting for anyone thinking of fostering. However, it is important to recognise that these are ordinary children who have suffered extraordinary circumstances and still need nurturing and their basic needs met, as with any other child.
If you would like more information or if you would like a member of our Fostering Team to contact you to discuss matters, please complete our Foster Carers Application of interest form.