Who Can Foster

Who can foster?


Fostering is a rewarding role, open to individuals from a variety of backgrounds, regardless of their relationship status, ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation. What we focus on is your ability to provide a safe and loving home for children in need. Whether you are single, married, in a civil partnership, or in a long-term relationship, you can become a foster carer as long as you meet the necessary requirements below. At F5 Foster Care, we value diversity and understand that individuals from different backgrounds bring unique perspectives and strengths to the fostering journey. What truly matters is the willingness to make a positive impact on a child’s life and provide them with stability, care, and support.



To be able to Foster with us, you must:
  • Be at least 21 years-old
  • Have a permanently available spare bedroom big enough for a child (or children) to use as their bedroom (they can not share with other children who may be in the home)
  • Be a British citizen or have leave to indefinite leave to remain / settled status
  • Have a good level of spoken and written English
  • Be able to give the time to care for a child or young person, often on a full-time basis.
  • Be in a safe and secure home (this can be rented or owned)


You do not need to be a home owner, married or employed – talk to us about your situation.



Other factors which will be considered include:
  • Your health – are you fit and able to foster for now and the foreseeable future?
  • Your financial security
  • 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 – whether you have lived abroad and any previous convictions (we will assess convictions on an individual basis).
  • Your experience with children and young people – through family, work, or volunteering.



Foster carers come from all walks of life with a variety of experiences and backgrounds.

You do not need to have worked with children and young people and you do not require specific qualifications to apply to be assessed as a foster carer. What you will need to show is that you have the time, energy, enthusiasm and commitment to foster.

Your skills and ability will be assessed and enhanced by the pre-approval training and if successful your knowledge and capabilities will progress with the aid of specific training offered to develop and support you, so you’re prepared for the challenges and rewards of fostering. An advantage would be able to show you have some experience caring for children or young people through your family or volunteering.


Supporting foster carers

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Additional Information


As a Foster Carer you are paid generous weekly fees


We know that individuals and families who choose to foster are driven by a strong desire to support and care for vulnerable children, rather than seeking financial gain. Nonetheless, we acknowledge the immense effort, unwavering commitment, and exceptional dedication exhibited by our foster carers. In today’s society, fostering has evolved into both a personal and professional role, and we firmly believe that our foster carers deserve recognition and remuneration for the tireless work they do day in and day out. You will find more information on the fees and allowance page.


The difference between fostering and adoption


Fostering: Fostering involves providing a temporary home for a child who is unable to live with their birth family for various reasons. The primary goal of fostering is to provide a safe, stable, and nurturing environment for the child while their birth family works towards resolving the issues that led to their separation. Foster carers are entrusted with the care of the child, but the legal responsibility and parental rights remain with the local authority or the child’s birth parents. Fostering can be short-term or long-term, and the child may eventually return to their birth family, move to another long-term placement, or transition into independent living.

Adopting: Adoption, on the other hand, involves permanently bringing a child into a new family and legally becoming their parent. It is a legal process that severs the child’s legal ties with their birth family and establishes a new legal relationship with their adoptive parents. Adoptive parents assume full parental rights and responsibilities, providing a permanent and lifelong home for the child. Adoption is typically pursued when a child cannot return to their birth family or when the birth parents voluntarily consent to the adoption. It creates a permanent family bond, and the adopted child is treated as a full member of the adoptive family.

In summary, fostering is a temporary arrangement aimed at providing care and support for a child until they can be reunited with their birth family or find a long-term placement, while adoption involves the legal process of permanently making a child a part of a new family, with all the rights and responsibilities that come with it. At F5 Foster Care we only recruit Foster Carers and would recommend anyone considering adoption to visit www.first4adoption.org.uk to find an adoption agency in your area.

Its important that we can recruit a diverse range of Foster Carers


Having a diverse range of foster carers is important as it allows for the specific needs of children to be met, reflects the diversity of society, provides a variety of positive role models, helps address biases and discrimination, and ensures that children receive culturally sensitive care. By embracing diversity, foster care can offer children a sense of identity, acceptance, and understanding while promoting inclusivity and empathy within the foster care community.


Men can be foster carers too!


Male foster carers are needed to provide a diverse and balanced caregiving environment for children in foster care. They bring unique perspectives, qualities, and role models that are valuable for children, particularly those who may have experienced trauma or lack positive male influences in their lives. Male foster carers offer stability, guidance, and a different nurturing style, contributing to the holistic development and well-being of children. Their presence helps challenge stereotypes and promotes gender equality, teaching children to respect and appreciate the diverse qualities and strengths that individuals of all genders can bring to parenting and caregiving roles.


It is possible to work and Foster although a lot of flexibility is needed


Balancing foster care responsibilities with work can be challenging due to the demands and complexities involved in both roles. Fostering requires significant time and attention to meet the needs of children in care, including attending appointments, coordinating with social workers, providing emotional support, and addressing any challenging behaviors or trauma-related issues. Juggling these responsibilities alongside a job can lead to time constraints, scheduling conflicts, and emotional strain. Additionally, foster carers may need flexibility in their work arrangements to accommodate unexpected emergencies or meetings related to the child’s care. It is crucial to have understanding employers and support systems in place to navigate the difficulties of combining foster care with work commitments effectively.


Applicants living with a disability are not prohibited from applying to foster


Individuals with disabilities can apply to become foster carers. The eligibility to foster is not solely determined by disability status but rather by the ability to provide a safe and nurturing environment for children in need. Fostering agencies and local authorities assess applicants based on their overall suitability, including their physical and mental health, as well as their ability to meet the needs of the children in their care. To assist in this process all applicants undertake a medical to ensure that they are fir and able enough to provide the level of care that any children living with them would need.


The Assessment process including training and approval should take around 6 months


When you apply to foster, you will be assigned a social worker who will support you throughout the process and carry out a thorough assessment. It is a two staged process with stage 1 performing checks such as DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) formerly known as CRB check while the second stage will require a report on your family, your home life and experiences etc. In certain situations these stages can be completed simultaneously. The assessing social worker will complete a detailed report about you, with your input, which will then be presented to the fostering panel. Applicants are usually invited to attend the fostering panel when their application is heard so that they can answer any questions panel may have. The fostering panel will then make a recommendation to the fostering service as to the applicant’s suitability to foster, and agency decision maker for the fostering service will decide whether to approve you or not. We aim to complete this process within 4 -6 months.


Being a Foster Carer means being a lifelong learner


Ongoing training is crucial for foster carers as it ensures they have the necessary knowledge, skills, and tools to provide the best possible care for children in their homes. Training equips foster carers with strategies to address various challenges, such as understanding trauma, managing behaviors, supporting educational needs, and promoting positive relationships. It also keeps them up to date with the latest research, best practices, and legal requirements in the field of foster care. At F5 Foster Care, we are fully committed to your training because we know it enhances the quality of care, promotes professional development, and empowers you as foster carers to meet the diverse needs of the children entrusted to you. By investing in continuous learning, we ensure that our foster carers are well-prepared, confident, and capable of making a lasting positive impact on the lives of the children they support.


We work with you to ensure that you are matched with the most suitable children for your home


You are able to specify the age and in some rare circumstances (due to family demographics or religious beliefs) the gender  of children that you Foster. You should bear in mind that the narrower the age range you specify will have an impact on the number of placements you may be offered simply due to the availability of children that meet with your criteria. There is an overwhelming need for foster carers to be support children and young people between the ages of 5 and 16, sibling groups, certain ethnic groups and parent / child placements, as these groups tend to be in the greatest need.