If you’re interested in becoming a foster carer, it’s important to first know the fostering requirements that determine your eligibility. If you do not meet these initial criteria for fostering, you will not be able to continue with your application. Learn the main fostering requirements in the UK today from our detailed guide.
Can I foster?
The selection of foster carers, just like the children who are awaiting foster care, is diverse. This means that regardless of your race, gender, sexual orientation, religion or ethnicity, as long as you meet the fostering criteria, you are eligible to foster. If you’re not sure whether or not you can foster, get in touch with a member of our friendly team here at FosterCare UK who can provide you with more information.
Criteria for fostering
- To have a spare bedroom
- To be in good health
- To be at least 21 years of age
- To have enough time to provide support and care (usually on a full-time basis) to a child or young person
- To be a full-time resident in the UK (or have leave to remain)
Could you foster?
Alongside the legal foster carer requirements, there are also various other elements that should be thought about when you’re considering if you can foster. Some of these include:
- Financial security – do you have multiple outgoing payments or debts? Can you afford fostering?
- Experience – having some experience around children is beneficial if you’re wanting to foster, whether it’s through your family life or through volunteering.
- Home life – is your home environment safe for a young person or child?
- Support network – do you have a stable network of friends and family around you can rely on for support?
- Past – do you have any previous convictions? If so, read our guide on fostering with a criminal record.
However, there are common misconceptions that often people rule themselves out of fostering on:
- Is there an age limit to fostering? – there is no upper age limit to fostering, however you do need to be 21 years of age. What is most important is that you are fit to care for any child.
- Do you need qualifications to foster? – as part of your application process, you will be trained to develop the skills required to foster, and achieve the training and development England fostering standards.
- Can you be single and foster? – yes, you can foster as a single parent. However, you will need to demonstrate a network of support and financial security in order to support a foster child.
- Can your religion or sexual orientation prevent you from fostering? – no. Any religion or sexual orientation can foster.
- Do you have to be a homeowner? – no, you don’t need to own a house. However, you do need to be able to provide consistency for a young person or child living in your home.
Decided that fostering is the right choice for you? Learn more about how much foster parents get paid, the fostering recruitment process and more. Get in touch with one of our expert team here at FosterCare UK for more information.