Posted on Friday 5th November 2021
If you’re thinking about becoming a foster carer, it’s important to know what could disqualify your application from being accepted before you start looking into the process.
Can you foster if you have a criminal record?
Having a criminal record could be a factor that disqualifies you from becoming a foster carer, however, it depends on the type and severity of the offence you committed.
What factors are considered if you have a criminal record?
If you have a criminal record, there are a few important factors that we will consider during your application to become a foster carer.
These factors include:
How old you were when the office was committed
If the crime you committed happened a long time ago and you have since changed your ways, this will be considered during your application to become a foster carer. Foster for Staffordshire don’t want people’s past to affect their actions in the future where possible.
Your current circumstances
If you haven’t reoffended and you’ve been on the right track for a while, then your current circumstances would indicate that you’re prepared to become a foster carer.
Your attitude towards your offence
If you’ve got a positive attitude towards the offence you committed, and it’s clear you’ve learnt from your previous mistakes, that will go in your favour during your application to become a foster carer.
Can I foster if my husband, wife or partner has a criminal record?
When your partner lives in the same house as you, you both have to agree to fostering a young person. Therefore, everyone living in your home must fit the criteria of becoming a foster carer, including the rules around having a criminal record.
What disqualifies you from fostering?
Foster for Staffordshire believe that someone’s past should prevent them from fostering, so most small crimes that have been committed in the past would not prevent you from applying to become a foster carer. There are however some crimes and other reasons that could disqualify you from becoming a foster carer.
If a crime involves an offence against a child, violence or causes bodily injury, then crimes of this nature could prevent you from becoming a foster carer. This includes crimes that are listed in the Sexual Offences Act 1956.
Owning a dangerous animal
If you own a dangerous animal that’s listed under the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976 then this will prevent you from becoming a foster carer with Foster for Staffordshire. We put the safety and care of the young people under our protection first, therefore placing a young person in the same household as a dangerous animal isn’t possible.
Not having a spare bedroom
Although not having a spare bedroom is certainly not a crime, this does prevent you from becoming a foster carer. A crucial part of the fostering process is ensuring that a young person has their own space to relax and sleep, and not being able to offer this to a young person will mean you’re not eligible.
Can you foster if you’re in debt?
Being in debt won’t prevent you from becoming a foster carer, but you must explain your reasoning for applying to become a foster carer in front of a fostering panel.
Your individual and specific circumstances will be discussed as part of your assessment, and if our team believe that you’re willing to become a foster carer for reasons that don’t include money - then your eligibility to become a foster carer will not be affected by your debt.
What criminal offences can stop you from fostering?
There are a number of criminal offences that can stop you from becoming a foster carer.
Please get in touch with our team and disclose to us if you have a previous conviction at the earliest opportunity, so we can let you know whether you’d be eligible to become a foster carer.
Any offence committed against a child would stop you from becoming a foster carer, including:
- Bodily injury
- Supplying drugs
- Possession of indecent photography
There are also other offences that would stop you from becoming a foster carer:
- Armed robbery
- Violent crimes
- Supplying drugs
- Living off immoral earnings
- Drink driving & other serious motoring offences
Can I become a Foster for Staffordshie foster carer?
If you believe that you’re eligible to be a foster carer, and you live in the Staffordshire area, then we’d love you to apply to become a foster carer.
Please get in touch with our team today, and we're happy to help guide you through the process of becoming a foster carer.