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Screening and eligibility FAQs

I’m now retired, am I able to foster?

Yes. We look for potential foster carers who can dedicate their time and experience to supporting children and young people, and many people find that retirement gives them this opportunity.

Visit our Can I Foster? page for more information about the qualities we look for in our foster carers.

What is the minimum age for becoming a foster carer?

You need to be over the age of 21 to foster with us. Find out more about age limits when it comes to fostering.

Are there any criteria I have to meet?

Anyone can apply to foster with us and we welcome people from all backgrounds. We do have four criteria though:

  • You need a spare room
  • You need to be over 21
  • You need to commit to fostering full time
  • You need to have British Citizenship or permanent leave to stay in the UK

Visit our Can I Foster? page for more details about what you’ll need to foster with us.

Can I foster if I’m single?

Yes, you don’t have to be married or living with a partner to foster. In fact, being a solo carer can be an advantage in some fostering placements where a child can only be placed with a single male or female carer.

Can I foster if I’m gay?

Yes, your sexuality isn’t an issue when it comes to fostering.  We welcome applications from people with a range of skills, knowledge and life experiences, regardless of their sexual orientation. Our LGBT and gender page will help you find out more.

I have a criminal record, does this mean I can’t foster?

Not necessarily. It depends on the nature of the conviction and when it occurred. We carry out police checks as part of our application process, but advise you to declare and discuss any convictions early on. If you’d like to chat about this with one of our friendly fostering advisors, please get in touch.

Can you foster if you have pets?

Yes. Animals can help children to relax and settle into a new home, but we do need to make sure there is no risk involved. As part of your assessment, we’ll complete a pet questionnaire to help us determine whether your pet is safe to be around foster children.

I have a disability and I’d like to become a foster carer. Is this possible?

Having a disability won’t necessarily stop you from becoming a foster carer and we consider all our applicants on an individual basis. Visit our disability page to find out more.

Can people from all religious groups become foster carers?

Your religion doesn’t affect your ability to foster and we welcome carers from all backgrounds.

We try and ensure that looked after children are placed with foster families who can meet their unique cultural and religious needs. Visit our race, religion and fostering page to find out more.

I work full time, can I foster?

We ask for at least one foster carer to be at home on a full-time basis.

However, in some cases it’s still possible for you to continue working and this depends on your individual circumstances. To find out more, give us a call on 0800 434 6000.

How can we help?

Ready to start fostering a child or young person? Or just want a bit more information to help you decide whether fostering is for you? All you need to do is contact us.

  • Why do we need this? So we can email you a brochure.
  • Why do we need this? We appreciate that starting to foster is a big decision that needs careful consideration and you are likely to have questions. We’d like to help answer those questions.
  • Please enter your postcode to see news and events in your area.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Phone us

Call us on 0800 434 6000 (lines open Monday - Friday: 9am - 8pm)

Fostering a child or young person is a big decision so we're here to answer any questions you may have. Our friendly fostering advisors, many of whom are carers themselves, can talk you through everything you need to know about becoming a foster carer.

For all other general enquiries, please call 0800 085 225.

Call me back

Haven't got time to chat now? Leave your details and we'll call you back at a time that suits you:

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
  • Why do we need this? So we can email you a brochure.
  • Why do we need this? We appreciate that starting to foster is a big decision that needs careful consideration and you are likely to have questions. We’d like to help answer those questions.
  • Please enter your postcode to see news and events in you area
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Phone us

Call us on 0800 434 6000 (lines open Monday - Friday: 9am - 8pm)

Fostering a child or young person is a big decision so we,re here to answer any questions you may have. Our friendly fostering advisors, many of whom are carers themselves, can talk you through everything you need to know about becoming a foster carer.

For all other general enquiries, please call 0800 085 225.

Call me back

Haven't got time to chat now? Leave your details and we'll call you back at a time that suits you:

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.