It’s essential that foster parents have different life experiences and skills which, in turn, will help improve the life chances of the children in their care.
At FCA, we welcome foster parents of all ages. Whether you are 21 or 77, each foster parent has their own set of unique qualities that underpins their ability to foster and helps them excel in their role.
What is the minimum age to foster a child in the UK?
The only restriction regarding age and foster care is that you need to be over 21 to foster with us. Ideally, you would need to able to manage complex needs and difficult behaviour, as some children or young people in care may be more demanding than others.
Is there an upper age limit for foster parents?
This is one of the most common questions we get asked. There really is no maximum age for fostering with us and many of our foster carers continue to foster children well into their 70s and beyond. At the beginning of the assessment process, all foster parents have a medical check which covers areas such as your health history, family medical background and lifestyle.
All we ask is that you’re still able to fulfil the more active side of fostering a child or young person, such as the school run and outdoor activities, and that you can do so with enthusiasm and get up and go. If you have empathy and great listening skills, you could have what to takes to be a great foster parent.
Fostering is my life and I love it. Is age an issue? Absolutely not there is a lot left in me and at 81 I have no plans to stop anytime soon.
Pamela, North East
I’m now retired, am I able to foster?
Yes absolutely. We look for potential foster parents who can dedicate their time and experience to supporting children and young people, and many people find that retirement gives them this opportunity.
What is the process of becoming a foster parent?
Applying to become a foster parent involves a number of steps and starts when you contact us.
- Get in touch
We’ll have a chat to you talk to one of our friendly fostering advisors by calling 0800 023 4561 or filling in our enquiry form.
- We’ll visit you at home
We will arrange for one of our fostering advisors to visit you at home to talk to you in more detail and what to expect and how we will support you and find out a bit more about you.
- Start your application
If you decide you’d like to apply to foster with us, we’ll start you application process. The process involves filling in an application form and once accepted we will then undertake your fostering assessment.
- Fostering assessment
Following your application we’ll undertake a fostering assessment. Your assessing social worker will visit you and your family at home a number of times to speak to you and collect information about you and your life. It will help us to understand more about you. In addition you will attend a preparatory training course to help you learn more about fostering and how to handle different situations. The assessment process takes between four to six months.
- Meet the panel
Once your assessment is finished you will go to a fostering panel who will make their recommendation. The group is made up of people with fostering experience. Your social worker will help you prepare and be there for support. Read our blog about panel to help you understand.
Once approved the real fostering journey starts!
What training will I receive as a foster parent?
We pride ourselves on being a learning organisation and are proactive in helping both our foster parents and employees to develop their skills, knowledge and experience.
We are committed to providing high quality training that is accessible and relevant to all of our foster parents.
Get in touch
Whether you’re ready to start your journey or just want to chat, contact our fostering team today and we'll answer all your questions.