Could you foster?
Foster carers come from all backgrounds and bring a wide range of life and work experiences.
Foster carers from a variety of backgrounds are needed as they have different life experiences, skills and qualities to help meet the needs of children and young people in foster care. They receive training and support to help them develop the skills to meet the needs of children in care. There are, however, some common criteria that need to be fulfilled by you:
Could you Foster Children? What are the requirements?
- to be at least 21 years-old (although by law you can apply to foster from 18)
- to have a spare bedroom big enough for a young person to live in
- to be a full-time resident in the UK or have leave to remain
- to be able to give the time to care for a child or young person, often on a full-time basis.
Additionally a few practical requirements:
- Spare bedroom in rented or owned property
- At least one carer at home full time or with reduced commitments
- Commitment to attend training & support groups
- Driving license, preferred but not essential
Qualities you should have to become a Foster Carer
Listening Skills: Do you hear and understand what children and adults are saying to you?
Optimism: Are you able to look on the bright side when times get tough and difficult?
Confidence: Can you handle difficult situations without feeling out of your depth?
Patience: Can you persevere even when you don’t seem to be getting immediate results?
Stability: Do you have a welcoming home and could you make children feel safe and secure?
Team Player: Can you share responsibility and work together with others, and ask for help and support when you need it?
Observational Skills: Can you see what is really going on beneath the surface?
Energetic: Are you full of energy and life?
Communication Skills: Do you get on well talking with children? can you speak on behalf of children and advocate for them?
Sense of humour: Do you have a good sense of humour? can you see the funny side of life?
Sympathy: Are you able to sympathise with children?
Other factors which we will be taking into account include:
- Your health – are you fit and able to foster for now and predictable future?
- Your home – is it safe for a child or young person?
- Your friends and family – are there people who can support you to foster?
- Your past – Any previous convictions
- Your experience with children and young people e.g. through volunteering
Myths about fostering – Don’t rule yourself out
Many people often exclude themselves from becoming a foster carer because of the various myths surrounding fostering, such as ‘I can’t foster if I don’t have my own children’ or ‘I can’t foster if I’m single’ or ‘I can’t foster if I’m over 60’. Read more ‘Myths surrounding fostering’.
Want to know if you can foster?
Find out if you meet the criteria to become one of our foster carers.
We are recruiting Foster Carers
We are currently recruiting foster carers across all the London Boroughs and the surrounding counties. Please go through the website and contact us to register an interest in fostering.
Foster in your area
Register your interest
SSFA has a range Policies and Procedures concerning Social Work Practice, HR and Finance which are used to guide staff and for tendering and commissioning purposes. If any of the issues that are not covered please do contact your supervising social worker or our registered manager who will guide you to the appropriate policy. Shining Stars Fostering Agency Tri-X policies