Whilst it is commonly thought that having a pet will hinder your chance of fostering, this is not the case. In our helpful guide, not only will we be answering your frequently asked questions (FAQs) about fostering with pets — we will also be talking about the positive impact pets can have on the children you foster.
Fostering a child is still possible if you own a dog, the only difference is that your pet would have to go through an assessment process, too. However, if you have a dog that has been banned by the Dangerous Dog Act, then you will not be able to foster a child. Banned dogs include Pit bull terrier, Japanese Tosa, Dogo Argentino and Fila Brasileiro – as these dogs can be antisocial and violent, and are illegal to own. Similarly, dogs who are known to have a capacity for aggressiveness such as German Shepherds, Bulldogs, Dobermans and Rottweilers, are also specially assessed with regards to fostering.
However, if your dog is generally friendly or docile, you will most likely have no issues fostering a child. It is, however, important to remember to follow simple guidelines, such as gardens being kept free from urine and excrement, pets are healthy e.g., regularly wormed, and feeding bowls and litter trays are not within reach of children.
Initially, when fostering with pets, your furry friend will need to undergo an assessment. This evaluation will mainly focus on the pet’s behaviour, their ability to adapt to strangers, and the general personality of the pet. This assessment is also helpful to understand how the child would respond to your pet and to note whether the child has any allergies or fears of your animal.
The assessment will also be beneficial for your pet as well as the foster child, as some young people may have limited experience with pets and therefore could exhibit harmful behaviours towards them.
Many people have misconceptions around pets and fostering - some may believe a pet is detrimental to fostering applications due to the unpredictability of animals. However, this is quite contrary to the truth. Pets can really have a positive impact on children and offer them feelings of companionship and affection. Dogs especially, are thought to be good for aiding attachment and teaching children how to form strong relationships – as well as creating strong family bonds in the home.
It is rare for foster children to have pets of their own, however it does happen. This will most likely be a smaller pet such as a hamster or goldfish. If your foster child does own a pet, it is important to allow them to keep it, as this most likely will provide them with comfort and stability.
If would like to know more about becoming a foster carer, then do not hesitate to contact our team. Or, if you simply would like to learn more about fostering then be sure to have a browse through our knowledge centre.
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.