Fostering uk requirements

Who can be a foster parent?

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Foster care requirements in the UK

Many people are surprised about who is able to apply to foster – because the answer is pretty much everyone. It’s perhaps easier to look at the only fostering UK requirements we have:

  • you must be over 21
  • you must have a right to live and work in the UK
  • you must have a spare bedroom in your house that's always available for a child

And that’s just about it… except for having the personal qualities, commitment and energy to foster a child.

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Download our brochure and discover everything you need to know about fostering with Orange Grove.

Foster care bedroom requirements

The minimum requirement for a foster child's bedroom is that it’s safe, secure and well-maintained, and has enough space to fit a single bed, desk and chest of drawers or a wardrobe.

The spare room for fostering must always be available for a child in your care. For example, if you have children living away at university, there must be another bedroom for them to come to over the holidays.

Criteria for fostering

Join our family

Our foster parents come from all different ages, walks of life, backgrounds, cultures, religions and sexual orientations and each brings with them a diverse range of skills, knowledge and life experiences. You can be single, married or in a long-term relationship, heterosexual or gay.

You can be from any culture or religious belief and you don’t need educational qualifications. You might have worked with children and young people, or had children of our own, but equally, you might not. You may be a younger person looking for a unique career, or an older person looking for a new challenge.

We’re open to everyone who wants to become a foster parent and provide all the training and support you need to become successful in foster care.

Start your journey

Some things to consider...

While almost anybody can apply to foster, there are some things we’ll take into account during your assessment, so it’s worth you considering them too. We want to make sure you’re right for Orange Grove, and that our fostering agency is right for you.

Experience working with children

Many of our foster parents have their own children or have worked with children before in a professional or voluntary capacity. This isn’t essential but it helps, if only to give you an insight into the challenges of the work.

Health and wellbeing

Some of our foster parents have underlying health conditions, or a physical disability or mental health issue, so none are necessarily an obstacle to becoming a foster parent.

But it’s important that these won’t affect your ability to look after a child or young person safely. It’s also important that fostering won’t affect your own wellbeing.

Financial stability

When you start fostering, we will hope to have children appropriately placed with you whenever you are available to care for them. However, throughout your fostering career, you may experience some periods without a child.

During times when you don't have a child in placement, we'll need to ensure that you'll manage financially, as you won't be receiving the fostering allowance.

Home environment

Is your home suitable and safe for a child? Do you have a spare bedroom that’s always available to them?

Enough time in your life

Getting children to school and clubs, having them around at evenings and weekends or being at home with them if they’re ill; fostering children is a full-time commitment, so we need to be sure you’ve got sufficient time to give them the attention they deserve as part of your family. This means that most foster parents don’t have a full-time job, although it’s not necessarily a barrier.

Support network

Although you’re the foster parent, do you have a wider support network – including family members – who support your decision and could add to the experience for the children in your care?

Able to meet the roles and responsibilities of a foster parent

Foster parents are naturally caring, compassionate and committed to championing the needs of children in their care. But to be successful, you’ll also need to be a good team player, able to work alongside other care professionals, including social workers, education experts and sometimes therapists.

Who can be a foster parent

Generous fostering allowances

You’ll receive a generous fostering allowance while a child is in your care, designed to recognise your professionalism and commitment. We also offer other benefits, such as allowances for birthdays and religious festivals, as well as two weeks paid respite.

Plus you'll have access to our rewards platform where you can find hundreds of discounts to some of your favourite shops, restaurants and family experiences.

Fostering allowance

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Foster care bedroom

Do you need a spare room?

You will need a spare bedroom that's always available to a child to be able to foster and not shared with another child.

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Can you be single?

You can be single and foster, as well as be a single parent. There are some extra things for you to consider though.

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Age limit for fostering

How old do you have to be?

The only age requirement to foster is that you're over 21 years old, and there's no upper age limit.

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Can I work and foster?

It's possible to work and foster, however it completely depends on your personal circumstances.

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Do you need experience to foster a child

Do you need experience?

You don't need previous experience to foster, either professionally or personally, although it can be beneficial.

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LGBTQ Community

We have lots of foster parents from the LGBTQ community, who are doing an extraordinary job. Join our team!

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Fostering with disabilities


It's absolutely possible to foster with a disability - we'll just need to assess whether you'll be able to meet a child's needs.

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Mental health

Having a mental health condition is not necessarily a barrier to fostering as long as you can offer a stable, secure home.

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Speak to our team

Whether you’re ready to start your journey or just want to chat to an expert, we're here to talk.

Please make sure you read our terms and conditions because you're agreeing to them by submitting an enquiry. It's also worth reading our privacy policy and cookies policy so you understand how we collect and use your personal data.

Ready to start your fostering journey?

By phone

One of our team is available to talk to you over the phone to answer any of your fostering queries.

0800 369 8513

Live chat

Have a live chat online with one of our dedicated fostering professionals

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Your local office

We have local teams covering most of England. Find your local office today.

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