Can you foster with mental health problems

Foster care and mental health

Can you foster with a mental health condition?

Today, mental health is more widely understood than in the past. It’s also common, with about 25% of people experiencing some form of episode in their lives – whether that’s stress, anxiety, mild depression or something more long-lasting like bi-polar disorder.

We view every application as an individual so, even if you have a long-standing mental health condition, it’s still possible to become a foster parent with Fosterplus, and we welcome your application.

As many of the children and young people we support have their own mental health issues, this can be helpful as it means a higher degree of understanding and empathy.

Fostering home visit

Application process

Throughout the assessment process, we look at your mental health from two important perspectives:

  1. Does it affect your ability to carry out the role of a foster parent and look after a vulnerable child in any way?
  2. Will the stresses and challenges of fostering impact on your own wellbeing?

To get answers to these questions, we’ll have detailed discussions with you and also ask you to have a medical assessment with your GP. The kind of things we take into consideration include how long you’ve lived with your condition, its type and severity as well as any current medications, such as antidepressants.

Every decision depends on each individual’s circumstances, but you can be sure we’ll be open, honest and fair. If we’re confident your mental health won’t compromise your own or the children’s stability and wellbeing, then you should still be able to foster.

Can you foster if you’re on antidepressants?

There's no reason why being on antidepressants would prevent you from becoming a foster parent if you're able to provide a child with a stable and predictable family environment.

If you've only recently started using antidepressants, we may recommend that you focus on your own mental health and reaching emotional stability before we take you through the process to become a foster parent.

Speak to our team

Speak to an advisor

If you're concerned about whether your mental health would prevent you from fostering, then speak to one of our friendly advisors today.

Frequently asked questions

What are the different types of fostering?

We offer many different types of fostering so we can continue to meet the ever-changing needs of children and young people in foster care. These include short-term or interim care (up to 2 years), long-term or permanent care (more than 2 years and until the child turns eighteen), emergency, respite and more.

We also provide foster care placements that are considered specialist, including parent and child fostering and caring for children with disabilities or those seeking asylum. Learn about the different types of fostering below.

Types of fostering

How do you become a foster parent?

The first step is to have a chat with one of our friendly advisors - either complete our online form or give us a call on 0800 369 8512. We'll speak to you about the role, take a few details and answer any of your questions.

When you're ready to progress, there's a standard application and assessment process that you'll need to go through to become an approved foster parent, including home visits, background checks and references, training and attending a fostering panel. You can find out more about each step below.

How to become a foster parent

How long does it take to become a foster parent?

It takes around 4-6 months to become a foster parent. This can often be shorter if you're already fostering and looking to transfer to a different fostering agency.

Speak to our team

Ready to take your first step into fostering? We're here to support you on your journey...

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