Can you foster with a mental health condition?


Just the same as physical health, when you apply to become a foster carer, your mental and long-term health will be considered as part of the assessment process. If you have a mental health condition it’s still possible for you to become a foster parent, as long as it doesn’t affect your ability to take care of a child.

As part of the fostering application process, you’ll need to have a medical assessment with your GP and answer a series of questions about your mental health, this is to verify that you’ll be able to carry out the role of a foster parent and check that becoming one won’t affect your own mental wellbeing. Here at FosterCare UK, we treat each case individually. And, if after assessment we’re satisfied that your mental health won't impact your own or the child’s care then you’ll still be able to foster.

Can you foster if you’re on medication for your mental health condition, like antidepressants?

If you’re on medication for a mental health condition, such as antidepressants, it won’t automatically disqualify you from becoming a foster carer. Your medication will be discussed during the fostering assessment as part of your medical report, and it’s likely that as long as you continue to take your medication or discuss with your doctor any proposed changes to your medication it won’t affect your application. However, it’s worth noting that the assessment process works on a case-by-case basis.

What happens if you develop a mental health condition when caring for a foster child?

A mental health study conducted by Mind found that one in four people will experience a mental health problem of some kind every year in England, and we understand that it’s not something you can necessarily predict. If you encounter a mental health issue that could be harmful to you or your foster child, it is likely that the child would need to be removed from your care until the next steps can be taken. If you’re faced with mental health challenges, we will work together with you, your social workers, and your doctor to develop a treatment plan with you and your foster child’s wellbeing as a priority.

If you experience a change in circumstance that could affect your mental health such as a death in the family or a divorce, your eligibility to be a foster carer will need to be reassessed.

Can you foster children with a mental health condition if you have a mental health condition?

Providing your mental health does not affect your ability to care for the child or young person, you may find you benefit from an extra level of empathy through your own experiences. Everyone’s experiences with mental health are different, so if you do find caring for a child who is facing mental health challenges triggering, it may not be the right choice for you.

Each case is treated individually so we can ensure the best approach for both foster parent and child. 

Here at FosterCare UK, we approach fostering with a therapeutic approach at the forefront. By training you to become part of the foster child’s support network, we can help you to understand the needs of the child from a mental health perspective. We also offer complete training and support for foster parents to make sure you are completely prepared to care for your foster child or young person. If you would like to find out more, please do not hesitate to contact our helpful team today.

Thinking of fostering?

If you’ve got any questions or would like to find out more about fostering with Capstone, fill out the form below.
An experienced fostering advisor from your local area will then be in touch.

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Find out more about fostering with FosterCare UK.

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