Who Can Foster

Can I be a foster carer?

There are no rules about the type of person who would make a good foster carer. It’s simple – if you can offer a safe stable home for a child or young person to grow up in, then you are exactly the sort of person we’d like to talk to.

It really doesn’t matter about things like your relationship status, age, religion, whether you have children already, or even if you are straight or gay. Our foster carers come from all walks of life, and some were even fostered themselves. We have carers who have transferable skills from previous careers and jobs, and also some with very little experience. Because we provide all the necessary training and support, we welcome diversity and applications from people with life experience.

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National Minimum Standards

Although anyone can apply to be a foster carer, there are National Minimum Standards for fostering which have been set out by the Government’s Department of Education. The standards help us ensure that foster children are brought up in a safe, secure, stable environment where they can thrive.

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You must be over 21

There is no upper age limit and as long as you are fit, energetic and healthy, you can apply to be a foster carer.

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You must have a spare bedroom

This must be available at the time of your application. Any building extension or conversion work must be completed before you apply.

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You must have good spoken and written English

You don’t need specific qualifications to be a foster carer, but you do need to have a good level of spoken and written English.

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You must tell us about any convictions you may have

You must not have been convicted of certain criminal offences, such as violence or crimes against children. More minor offences may not affect your application, but you must inform us of any convictions during the assessment process.

You can read more about the National Minimum Standards and our team are on hand to answer all of your questions. As you’d expect, we encourage openness and honesty throughout the application process.

Want to know more?


Inside your Fostering Guide...

  • Applying to be a foster carer
  • The different kinds of foster care
  • Support for our foster carers
  • Our training and development programmes
  • How fostering affects your finances

Get in touch today

0800 160 1605

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Alternatively use our contact form to send us a message or get in touch.

Contact us

Relevant FAQs

  • I smoke, does that mean I can’t foster?

    No but it will mean you are limited in the age range of children you can care for. Fostered children and young people need positive role models so we may ask that smokers do so outdoors and certainly never in your home or your car. A child or young person's care and health comes first and foremost.

  • We have pets, does that mean we can’t foster?

    About 65% of our carers have a pet of some sort, after all they're part of the family too! We assess your pets as part of your assessment, asking if they have regular vaccinations, are relaxed with human contact and won't pose a threat to a child or young person. Similarly, when we place a young person in a household with pets, we do everything we can to ensure the young person will respect your pets.

  • I don’t drive, will this affect my ability to foster?

    We would prefer that you drive and have access to a car but we accept that some people don't. This shouldn't affect your ability to foster, as long as you source suitable transport for things like appointments, clubs and school.

  • Will the foster children have challenging behaviour?

    Some may present challenging behaviour depending on the nature of their background. We will be told about the child or young person's behaviour at the referral stage and will share all we know with you. Occasionally, challenging behaviour only presents itself once the young person is settled and comfortable in your company. You will receive comprehensive training to help you manage situations and we’re always available to help should you need it.