Who can foster

Who can foster

Foster carers are a wonderful mix of people, all with different backgrounds, personalities, and interests.

What they all share is a special ability to provide a safe, supportive, and loving home for children when they need it most. That isn’t just a roof over a child’s head, but a stable environment where they can really feel at home and part of the family.

Our foster carers rise to the challenge of caring for some of Sheffield’s most vulnerable young people and are transforming lives in the process.

Qualities we'd like you to have

We’d love you to join our fostering community, if you:

  • want to look after and support children and young people who have had a difficult start in life
  • have the ability to support them, nurture them, communicate with them, advocate on their behalf, and include them as part of your family
  • are willing to work as part of a team, develop your skills and qualities through training and learning, and have the resilience to stay strong in times of difficulty

Practical things to consider

The minimum criteria that we ask for is:

  • to be at least 21 years old
  • to have at least one spare bedroom
  • to be a full-time resident in the UK or have leave to remain
  • to be able to give the time to care for a child or young person

You can foster

There’s no such thing as a typical foster carer. Did you know:

  • you can be single and foster, but you will need to demonstrate a network of support
  • you don’t have to own your own home, but you will need to demonstrate stability
  • you can foster if you have a disability
  • you can foster whatever your sexual orientation and we welcome LGBTQ+ foster carers
  • your religion won’t prevent you from fostering, but you will need to demonstrate how you can support a child of a different religion from yours or questioning their own faith
  • you don’t need any formal qualifications, as you will be trained with the skills to foster and be supported to achieve the training and development standards in England
  • you can have a job and foster, depending on the type of fostering you want to do and the needs of the children you will be caring for
  • you can foster if you receive benefits
  • you may still be able to foster if you have had criminal convictions in the past which do not relate to children
  • there is also no upper age limit to foster; some people foster well into their 70s
  • you can have pets and be a foster carer
  • you don’t need to have your own children, but you will need to demonstrate your ability to care for children
  • you can still foster if you smoke, but you will not be able to foster children under 5 or those with health conditions or disabilities. You will also be expected to smoke outside and away from children to ensure they are not affected by the harmful effects of passive smoking
  • you don’t need to be able to drive, but you must be able to take children to and from school, and attend meetings, appointments, and family contact where required

What matters is that you can care for any child you are approved to foster. Being a foster carer is not easy but you will make a huge difference to the lives of the children who need it.

Contact Fostering Services

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