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Can I Foster If I Have Pets?

When someone is considering becoming a foster parent, it is common to ask whether owning a pet will be a barrier during the application process. 

The good news is that so long as the pet has a good temperament around children, an animal can actually be a huge asset to a home where children will be fostered. 

So long as your pet meets any necessary requirements, your furry friend can provide comfort and support to a foster child at a time when they need this reassurance the most. 

Fostering Payments with Match Foster Care

Benefits of Pets in Fostering

Pet ownership has long been associated with reducing feelings of loneliness, due to the companionship and interaction that a pet can provide. Within a foster care setting, pets also provide the same benefits and can help children to ease into their new surroundings.

Due to their warm and welcoming nature, pets can also be a fantastic ice breaker as a child gets to grips with a new environment. 

Many animals have a wonderful ability to sense our emotions, including when we may be feeling sad or upset. For foster children, a pet can provide comfort and relief as they navigate unfamiliar surroundings and complex emotions.

Playing and interacting with a pet can also create happy experiences, allowing the child to relax in their foster home and feel a sense of belonging. 

Being in foster care is not just about the child receiving food and accommodation, but also developing life skills. Pets require daily care and observing these routines teaches children about responsibility, which is a vital skill they will need to learn in their own lives.

In the absence of a birth parent especially, the sense of responsibility that pets help children to develop can be hugely enriching. 

Just because (most!) pets can’t talk, that doesn’t mean they don’t understand us. Building a relationship with a pet is one of the most wholesome bonds a human can have, and this is especially the case for children.

Pets equally like to build relationships with humans making for rewarding interactions for both sides. 

With a pet by our side, we are never alone. Considering the challenging circumstances experienced by children in the foster care network, the sense of security a pet can create is all the more important. Overall, pets reinforce the safety and sanctitude provided by their foster carer.

As children navigate unfamiliar surroundings, feeling safe due to the care of their foster parent in addition any pets could not be of greater benefit. 

Considerations and Precautions for fostering with pets

When wanting to foster with pets, there are some guidelines set by the BAAF which need to be adhered to. These include ensuring that pets are kept healthy and are regularly checked at the vets. 

Foster carers must ensure outdoor spaces must be kept free from animal waste. Inside the home, pet hair must be kept off of carpets and furniture. Any feeding bowls or litter trays must also not be kept within reach of children. 

Beyond maintaining good hygiene and safety practices, it is also essential to consider whether the pet would equally be happy sharing its home with children.

Match Foster Care FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

During the foster care assessment process, your home environment will be assessed and this includes whether or not any pets live in the home.

Pets must undergo an assessment process to determine their temperament, behaviour and overall ability to adapt to strangers in their home. You would only be able to foster with pets if your pets pass the assessment. 

Yes, although it is very rare for foster children to have pets of their own. However, there can be positive benefits if a child brings a pet with them to foster care in terms of providing comfort and a sense of stability. 

So long as your pet meets the necessary criteria, fostering with pets can further enhance what is already a highly rewarding experience. 

At Match Foster Care, we provide round the clock support for our foster families throughout their fostering journey. Our dedication to supporting the children within our care has also recently earned us an ‘Outstanding’ Ofsted Rating.

If you are thinking of becoming a foster parent or would like more information about fostering with pets please give us a call on 01905 770 500 or email us at admin@matchfostercare.co.uk.

Areas We Cover

Match Foster Care covers all over the West Midlands, including, BirminghamWorcestershireStaffordshireDudleySandwellHerefordshireTelfordWolverhamptonShropshire

WalsallWarwickshireStokeSolihullCoventry and Gloucestershire.

We have two offices: one in Droitwich and one in Stoke but our staff are located across the whole region to provide local support when you most need it.  

Match Foster Care

Droitwich Office

Severn House, 30 – 32 Ombersley Street West, Droitwich Spa, Worcestershire,

Match Foster Care

Stoke-on-Trent Office

3-5 Vale Street, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire,