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Can I foster?

Mixed race family walking in the woods

You can foster if:

  • you're over 21. There is no upper age limit.
  • you have some experience of children and/or young people - but you do not need children of your own.
  • you're single, married or living with a partner of any gender.
  • you have a healthy lifestyle.
  • you or your partner can care for a child before and after school.
  • you have time to go to daytime training and support groups, meet with social workers, and be there during school holidays or when your foster child is ill.
  • you can provide a bedroom for the child you foster, unless fostering babies under age 2.
  • everyone else in your household wants to make it work.

You can work while you foster but it depends on how flexible your employer is. If you work full time, providing short breaks for children with disabilities at weekends might especially suit you.

You don't have to own your own home to foster. If you rent, you must tell your landlord you will be fostering.

If you smoke, you will not be able to care for a child under age 5, or a child with respiratory problems.

You will need:

  • a genuine commitment to care for a child or children.
  • lots of energy, patience and understanding.
  • willingness to work with us as part of the child care team.
  • space in your home and time in your life.
  • a home where children are safe from harm or abuse.

Myth: Am I too old to foster? 

Next > What are the ways to foster?


or to talk to our friendly recruitment team call 0800 801 530

"We felt we could provide a caring family and a happy family environment." — Karen and Darren, foster carers, Clacton-on-Sea