Fostering Requirements UK
Foster parents come from all different walks of life – often, they are just ordinary people, doing extraordinary things – and we encourage anybody who wants to make a big difference to a child’s life to speak to us today.
We’re often asked about fostering requirements and who’s eligible to foster, so we thought we’d share the minimum criteria to foster, as well as answer some frequently asked questions below.
What do you need to become a foster carer?
Almost anybody can apply to become a foster parent, so long as you have the energy, passion and commitment to transforming the lives of children in care.
We have a diverse family of foster parents – including single carers, married couples and gay or lesbian carers – from a wide variety of different ethnic backgrounds.
Experience with children – whether that’s raising your own children or in employment – is useful but not essential. We provide extensive foster carer training and 24/7 support to all our foster parents, so you’ll be in good hands.
To start your fostering journey, you’ll need to meet the following criteria:
- You must be over the age of 21
- You must have a spare bedroom that a young person can have to themselves
- You must be a British citizen or have indefinite leave to remain
Frequently asked questions
In most cases, we ask that one foster carer in a family performs the role full-time and has no other employment. However, depending on the type of placement, there may be some opportunities for you to work in a flexible or part-time capacity.
We always encourage you to have a chat with our friendly advisors, who will be able to discuss your personal situation and availability to care for a child in care.
There is no age limit to become a foster parent. We have foster carers of all ages – some of our carers continue to foster well into their seventies. You do need a certain level of fitness and energy to perform daily activities, like picking a child up from school or playing games. But providing you can do these, age is no barrier to being an excellent foster carer.
Absolutely – we work with a wide range of brilliant male and female foster carers who are single. Plus, with Orange Grover Fostercare, you’ll have a local team of professionals to support you provide the best care to children and young people.
Alongside your supervising social worker, you’ll also benefit from a family support worker, who works closely with our foster families to ensure an enjoyable and rewarding fostering experience. This includes arranging family fun days and carer forums, so you stay connected to your local Orange Grove family.
It is a requirement that looked after children have their own bedroom, so they have their own space. This is particularly important when they are settling into a new environment.
If your children are already sharing a room and also depending on their age, this may not be an issue. However, it’s best to have a chat with our team to discuss your personal circumstances.
Smoking would not prevent you from becoming a foster carer, so long as you’re not caring for children under the age of 5. However, you would need to be prepared to not smoke within the house.
Having a mental health condition would not automatically disqualify you from fostering. It’s more about how you manage your mental health and whether it could impact your ability to offer a child a stable, nurturing home.
We would need to know more about your mental health, how you manage it, whether you’re taking any medication and if you have any particular triggers (for example, stress).
It’s not always vital that you drive, if you live in an area with excellent public transport links (for example, London). However, it is highly desirable that somebody within the household drives, and are able to take children to school and appointments. You will also need to attend training and a variety of other meetings.