Busting the myths around becoming a foster carer in Manchester
There are lots of misconceptions around foster care and what it takes to become that special person in a youngster's life.
Giving a young person a home where they can live, learn and grow can be a life-changing experience, but many people don't know where to start.
People think there are all sorts of reasons why they can't become a foster carer, but most of these are myths.
What matters isn't your age, whether you own a home, your sexuality or relationship status, but whether you can give a child a safe and happy home.
The first thing to know about fostering is that there are lots of different kinds of foster carers – from those who look after a child in an emergency to foster carers who provide long-term care for children and young people.
Children need different types of foster care depending on their circumstances, which means there are many different ways to get involved.
In Manchester, there is a particular need for specialist foster carers who provide short to long term placements for children aged 3 to 11 years old, who need extra support. Some children struggle in their routine foster placement or at school. Specialist carers help the children have positive experiences and relationships so that they can deal with emotional or social situations, for example helping them to learn to accept close relationships with others and to co-operate, share and help others.
In return, we offer support and training as well as an enhanced weekly professional fee of around £337 per week, tax-free when children are in placement, plus an additional child component of £173, totalling £510 per week.
If you care about children and young people take a look at our fostering myth-buster now and see how you could help change their lives for the better:
"I'm too old to foster."
Not true. Anyone over 21 can apply to foster as long as they’re fit, healthy, have a spare room and time to meet a child’s needs.
"Men don't foster."
Not true. There are NO restrictions on gender. No matter who you are or how you identify, if you can provide the love and support a child needs, you can foster.
"I will have to stop working."
Not true. Fostering is flexible, and the council will work with you to find something that suits both you and your child.
"I rent, surely I can't foster?"
Yes, you can. You don't need to be a homeowner. As long as you have a spare room, it doesn’t matter if you’re a private renter or council tenant - this doesn’t affect your assessment or ability to foster.
"I don't live in Manchester, can I still foster for the council?"
Yes. Anyone who lives in Manchester or the surrounding area can foster with the council.
"I will be left on my own with no help."
Not so. Support is available every step of the way.
From an expert social worker, to help with the application process to regular home visits.
Becoming a foster carer has its challenges and can be demanding, but you'll not be alone. Specific training is also available, to help foster carers if needed and there is 24-hour help at the end of a phone.
"I can't afford to foster."
Foster carers get paid for their vital work. On average you will be paid £380 a week tax-free for one child. You will get regular income if you foster with Manchester City Council because we always have children who need a home.
Those who have more childcare experience may be paid more - as will those who take on more than one child.
For more information on how to foster with Manchester City Council, click here.