They say the hardest step in any journey is the very first one – and in this case, it’s having the courage to get in touch.
Fostering is a big decision that will change your life in many positive ways. It’s a decision that will change the lives of children too, so if you’re thinking of fostering, we’d urge you to make the first enquiry by completing our online form or calling us on 0800 369 8513.
This first step is simply to register your interest. There’s no obligation for you to take it any further. We won’t pressure you or pester you. All we’ll do is have a friendly informal chat and leave you to decide whether you want to take things further. If you do, we’ll set the ball rolling with a home visit from one of our specialist team where we’ll get to know each other a little bit more.
As an agency that is committed to nurturing relationships, we like to think we’re right for you.
Take your first step today
One of our team is available to talk to you over the phone to answer any of your fostering queries.
You can get in touch by filling out our online enquiry form with any queries that you may have.
Your local office
We have local teams covering most of England. Find your local office today.
Frequently asked questions
Who can apply to become a foster parent?
Almost anybody can apply to become a foster parent, as long as you meet the following basic criteria:
- You're over 21 years old
- You have a spare bedroom that's permanently available to a child
- You have the legal right to live and work in the UK
- You're passionate about making a life-changing difference to children in care
It doesn't matter if you're single, gay, married or straight and we encourage applicants from all ethnic backgrounds to join our team. The children we care for come from all walks of life and so we want a diverse community of foster parents to meet their needs.
You also don't need any experience or qualifications to apply as we provide you with all the training you need to be confident in your role. Although, you will find that some previous experience with children, either in a professional or personal capacity, is beneficial.
Do I need any experience to become a foster parent?
Previous experience with children, either in a professional or personal capacity, is beneficial but it's absolutely not essential.
Our foster parent training programme will provide you with all the skills and knowledge you need to work with children in foster care right from the get-go. Plus, you'll have your very own supervising social worker, a family support worker and regional manager by your side, offering expert guidance and ongoing support.
Do I need to have a spare room to foster?
How old do you have to be to foster?
The minimum age to foster in the UK is 21 years old. However, we're looking for people with some life experience and may recommend you wait until you're 25 years old unless you have previous experience fostering or work with children in a caring role professionally.
Other than that, there are no other age limitations to foster - we have a range of foster parents from 26-year-olds to 80-year-olds and everything in between.
Can I work and be a foster parent?
Yes - it's possible to work and foster but it's likely you'll need to either work part-time or have enough flexibility in your role, so you can attend meetings, children's reviews and training. You'll also need to be able to drop everything in the event of a child needing you, for example, if they're poorly.
Got some more questions? Find out the answers here.