Foster care agencies are likely to have carers that have pets in their homes. Just like any other family, a fair number of fostering families keep pets. Applicants wanting to become foster carers will be asked if they own pets as part of the recruitment process. It’s important to list all pets of all types that are in the home. All will be assessed in terms of any potential risk they may present.
Obviously the risk posed by a goldfish is going to be negligible. Some animals; not just dogs and cats, bite. Rabbits, for example, bite. Understandably, most people will be thinking about dogs when it comes to the issue of pet ownership and fostering. Where dogs are concerned, Local Authorities will prohibit a foster child being accommodated in a home that has any breed of dog that is listed in the Dangerous Dogs Acts 1991/1997, or a household that has more than three dogs.
Pets in the foster home will be taken into account during the Health and Safety Inspection which is part of the assessment process. In certain circumstances, a report may be requested from a vet to testify to the temperament of an animal. All foster carers need to be aware that they have an ongoing responsibility to ensure the safety of children in their care in relation to animals in the home. In some cases, a family may want to introduce an animal into the home when a foster child is already there. If this is the case, the fostering service provider must always be informed as a risk assessment will be needed. A point worth making here is that if acquiring a dog from a rescue centre – such as Battersea Dogs Home – careful consideration is necessary. Dogs that have been neglected, abandoned or mistreated could have ingrained patterns of behaviour that are hard to anticipate. The precautionary principle should always be applied as the safety of the foster child will always be paramount. Again, taking the advice of a vet will be required and the fostering service provider will always have the final say. Do your research! There is a lot of useful information on caring for a dog at https://www.rspca.org.uk/adviceandwelfare/pets/dogs
There are a number of issues relating to pets when fostering. Having an animal is a responsibility. This means making sure that they are looked after properly. Ensuring they are fed properly and; in the case of dogs, exercised regularly is essential. Dogs have to be inoculated against certain diseases and routinely wormed. Children can suffer from allergic reactions to pets. This means it is important to remove fur from carpets and furniture.
The first thing to say is having animals in a foster home can certainly be of benefit. They can have a therapeutic effect on youngsters. It is very important to have knowledge of the history of a pet as well as the foster child. Only then can it be determined if the experience will be a positive one. Foster carers need to be aware that a child may have a lot of anger and frustration and this can be directed at an animal. It’s also true that an animal can be a great source of reassurance and stability for a child whose own past may have been uncertain and unstable. Dogs can be extremely loving and faithful. For a child who has been neglected, the affection and attention a dog can show can be extremely comforting. Animals are accepting and don’t make judgements – as we humans do. If a child can have the opportunity to develop a relationship with an animal this can have a positive effect on their confidence and emotional wellbeing.
Could you give a child a chance with Rainbow Fostering?
The most important thing about becoming a foster parent is your ability and commitment to care for a child or young person. This is what really matters. You can become a foster carer regardless of your ethnicity, religion, marital status, sexuality, gender, or whether you are renting, a homeowner a parent or a non-parent.
You can be confident that our experienced and knowledgeable team will offer you support and guidance at every step of the way to your fostering with us. Talk to us right now on 020 8427 3355 or 0330 311 2845. Ofsted has rated Rainbow as ‘Outstanding’ in all areas. This means that you can have complete confidence in the training and support we will give you throughout your fostering career. We will also make sure that you have every opportunity to develop your professional skills.
Because fostering is all about the care of vulnerable children and young people, it should come as no surprise that the application process is a thorough one. There are six stages to complete to become an ‘Approved’ foster carer. the average time it takes is around four months. When you first get in touch, we’ll spend time having an informal chat. This is so you can learn more about Rainbow – and we can get to know a little about you and your motivations to foster. We’ll answer any questions you might have and help you – as well as your family – to decide if fostering is for you.
Rainbow is a long-established fostering agency – now over twenty years. There is an urgent shortage of foster families across the country. We now want to attract applicants in London, Birmingham, Manchester and Hampshire. If you think you can brighten up a child’s world, call now and make a completely new future!
For fostering news go to http://rainbowfostering.co.uk/news/
And for a thought-provoking blog: http://rainbowfostering.co.uk/foster-sibling-groups/