Who can foster

Who Can Foster?

Just as children’s situations and experiences are diverse, foster carers need a variety of skills and qualities.  They need to come from a range of backgrounds.

There are however, some common criteria you need to meet.

You must:
  • Be at least 25 years old (although in some circumstances we will consider people between 21 and 25 years old.)
  • Have a separate spare bedroom suitable for a child or young person (unless you are fostering babies who can be accommodated in a cot in a main bedroom).
  • Be a full-time resident in the UK or have leave to remain.
  • Have the time and commitment to give to a child or young person, often on a full-time basis.


Other factors we will consider:
  • Your health – are you fit and able to foster now and for the foreseeable future?
  • Your financial security – can you provide a child or young person with a secure base?
  • Your home – is it suitable and safe for a child or young person?
  • Your friends and family – are there people who can support you to foster?
  • Your past – for example, whether you have lived abroad and have any previous convictions. (You cannot be a foster carer if you have offences against children or violence-related offences.)
  • Your experience with children and young people – through family, work or volunteering.


As a foster carer:
  • You may be married, single, divorced or in a partnership. We encourage applications from heterosexual couples, those in same-sex couples, bisexual or transgender.
  • You may have your own children or be childless.
  • You may own your own home or rent.
  • You and/or your partner may be employed or unemployed.
  • You may have a disability – this will not prevent you from becoming a foster carer as long as you can meet the needs of the child.
  • You may be any race and culture – to reflect the race and culture of the children we look after.
  • You may or may not be religious.

Fostering is about caring for children and young people

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