Zoo keeper or Foster Carer?

Archived: Posted February 27, 2013

Foster carer or zoo keeper?Some people have no idea what they want to ‘be’ when they grow up, and some seem to know exactly what they want to be from the earliest age. I know a little boy, at just aged five, who most definitely wants to be a zoo keeper when he grows up and has even begun researching what qualifications he will need!

Some people find their true vocation later in life, and are lucky enough to really enjoy what they do. Fostering is a bit like this. Carers speak so positively about this amazing career, they couldn’t imagine doing anything else. And yet, few people grow up thinking that they’ll become a foster carer (maybe with the exception of those who have been closely involved in social care and who have been inspired by their experiences). Maybe it’s because it’s not the normal nine to five and not always an obvious career choice for young people.

For some, it’s about the timing; like stories I’ve been told about the couple who became foster carers after a chance meeting with a lady who was a foster carer, buying some curtains they were selling. One conversation led to another and they ended up fostering many children together for over 30 years. Or the ex-Royal Marine looking for a new challenge. These and many other people like them chose a career in fostering and have never looked back.

But fostering isn’t like other professions, you don’t need any special qualifications and as long as you’re over the age of 21 there are no age restrictions either, you just need a spare room in your home and the enthusiasm it takes to want to help a child or young person who is unable to live with their birth family.

In some ways, age can be an advantage. If you’re coming to fostering after having another job or career it can mean that you have more in the way of life experience to bring to the role, but it’s certainly not a requirement.

So, whatever you aspire to be, don’t be surprised if somewhere along the line your plans change and one day you find yourself on a different path, a challenging and highly rewarding path, the fostering path – taking you on the best journey of your life.

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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.

Phone us

Call us on 0800 023 4561 (lines open Monday - Thurs: 9am - 7pm, Fri: 9am - 6pm)

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.

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  • 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.
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Phone us

Call us on 0800 023 4561 (lines open Monday - Thurs: 9am - 7pm, Fri: 9am - 6pm)

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.

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

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.

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