Can I foster?

We're not looking for one type of person. We're looking for people from diverse backgrounds with different life experiences.

Foster family

Foster carers should have one thing in common: a commitment to providing a nurturing and secure home to help young people grow and develop.

Fostering criteria

  • 21 years old and over
  • Have a spare bedroom in a safe, secure home

Foster carer qualities

  • Energetic, confident and want to make a difference to young people's lives
  • Relevant experience and a genuine desire to work with young people
  • Patience, a sense of fun and flexible
  • Ability to work as part of a team

Types of foster care

  • Emergency - This is when young people need somewhere safe to stay for a short time, at short notice. This is usually for a few days.
  • Short term - This is when young people need to be cared for short-term, while plans are made for their future. This is usually for a few weeks or months
  • Long term - This is when young people need to live away from their birth family permanently. Carers will normally offer them a home for the foreseeable future
  • Respite - This is a fostering placement that's regular but time limited. A respite foster might care for a child for a week or 2 at a time. For example, during school holidays or at weekends or when things get tough at home and the child needs a break away to spend time with a carer they've a positive relationship with
  • Supported care - It's not just children who need fostered. We also need foster carers for young adults age 16-21 years. This is called supported care. Supported caring is similar to fostering, providing a supportive family environment, stability and support to young people as they move towards independence

What do supported carers do?

  • Help young people develop practical skills needed to run a home such as cooking, budgeting and cleaning
  • Encourage them to build a healthy productive routine and sustain work, training or education placements
  • Listen and provide emotional support when needed
  • Support young people to develop a positive social network and lead an active, fulfilling life
  • Have a non-judgemental attitude and respect the young person's right to privacy, dignity and freedom of choice
Last modified on 2 June 2021