Who can foster a child in the UK?
Many don’t realise they are eligible to foster a child
There are basic criteria you need to be eligible to foster. You must:
- Have a spare bedroom available in your home
- Be a full-time UK resident or have appropriate rights to remain in the country
- Have time to provide care and support for a young person
Besides these, the most important thing is what kind of person you are! Foster carers need to be really dedicated to what they do, so patient, kind, committed individuals are best suited to the role. If you tick these boxes, you have the potential to be a foster carer.
Your health and experience of caring for other people are also taken into consideration as part of the foster carer assessment.
At Fostering UK, we encourage members of the LGBT community to apply to foster. Sexual orientation and gender are not an issue when it comes to someone’s ability to look after a young person, so will not be a barrier to you becoming a foster carer!
Can I foster and remain employed elsewhere?
Possibly. Many people successfully foster alongside other employment, but this will depend on your specific circumstances. For example, can you provide enough care given the hours of your work? Are you a single carer or fostering with a partner? And do you have a sufficient support network elsewhere? Someone in the household needs to be available to a child, for meetings, pick up from school etc.
Are there any age restrictions?
Yes. You must be at least 21 years of age to apply to foster. There is no upper age limit, but you must have the health, energy, motivation and physical requirements to care for a child.
Can I foster if I am single?
Yes! Many successful foster carers are single carers, however you must be able to commit to the role full-time, and have a sufficient support network of people around you.
Can I foster if I have other children?
Yes. Having other children is not a barrier to fostering a child. In fact, having experience caring for children of your own will often demonstrate that you have the skills and understanding of child development needed to be a foster carer.
Can I foster if I have pets ?
Yes. Pets in the home are not a problem, in fact they often are a big positive for creating a family environment and can be beneficial for a foster child therapeutically. However, the pet will be assessed as part of the application process, to ensure they are safe to have in the home with a foster child.
“There are moments when you question your own ability to cope with difficult situations. Fortunately, Fostering UK are there to help and support whenever I need it.”
Anna from Ilford