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.
- 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.