Who can foster

We need foster carers from a variety of backgrounds who have have different life experiences and qualities to help meet the needs of children and young people in foster care.

You could be the type of carer we are looking for 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

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

Fostering myths

People often rule themselves out of fostering, buying into the many myths. For example:

  • 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
  • your sexual orientation won’t prevent you from fostering
  • 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 – you will be trained with the skills to foster and be supported to achieve the training and development standards in England
  • you can sometimes continue to work and foster, depending on the type of fostering you want to do and the needs of the children you will be caring for
  • you may still be able 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

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

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