The short answer is, pets don’t usually present a problem when adopting or fostering a child, unless they are known to be dangerous.
The benefits of pets
For many children, pets are a source of support, helping to build their trust and confidence. However, some children are fearful of animals or may have allergies or sensitivities to some types of pet hair. In these instances, placing a child in a household with some animals may not be suitable.
Some of our foster carers live on a farm where there are a range of animals, some have horses and some just have small pets such as hamsters. Animals help children to relax and we just need to make sure there is no risk either from your pet to a child – or the other way around.
What is a dangerous pet?
Dangerous animals include certain breeds of dogs that are known to have injured or killed a child. If you own a dog or other pet considered to be dangerous, your fostering agency will need to know how you would control it and how you would keep a child safe.
Dangerous dogs and safety assessments
Applications to foster will not be considered from anyone who owns any breed of dog that is registered or required to be registered under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991/1997:
- Pit Bull Terriers
- Japanese Tosa
- Dogo Argentines
- Fila Brazillieros
A safety assessment of all dogs in applicants’ homes will be carried out. Special caution will need to be taken when assessing households with breeds identified by the RSPCA as having a tendency and capacity for aggressiveness:
- Alsatian/German Shepherd
In addition, we will exercise special caution with applicants whose households include more than two dogs of any breed.
If you have questions about this policy or if you’d like to apply to be a foster carer, request a call back from your local NFA Fostering Group office.