Who can foster?

We welcome applications from people of all ethnic, cultural and religious backgrounds, physical abilities and sexual orientations. You can be single, married, a homeowner or a tenant. Your ability to care for and nurture a child is what really matters.

Am I suitable to foster?

As you’re probably aware, we thoroughly assess everyone wanting to become a foster carer. However, there are a few myths surrounding who can foster – and who can’t.

To clarify, National Fostering Group carers come from many walks of life. This is a significant advantage when we are looking for a good match. A broad range of foster carers provides more choice for an equally diverse range of children and young people who are looking for a nurturing home life.

In short, our main concern is your ability to provide the right care for a vulnerable child or young person. We assess your suitability through:

  • Legal and personal references
  • Your ability to work with us as part of a professional team
  • Your health, background and lifestyle
  • Your skills, attitude and personality, including experience of parenting or caring for children
  • Your ability to provide a caring and nurturing environment, including an assessment of your home

If you’re single, you’ll need to be at home full-time or have a flexible, part-time job. If you’re a couple, you’ll need to arrange your working hours so one of you is available at all times.

What can I offer a child?

The answer to this is surprisingly straightforward, as you have already been preparing for a life as a foster carer without even realising it!

Whether you have raised children yourself or new to caring for a child or teenager, your wealth of life experience and knowledge of what it takes to either raise children or be a child growing up within a caring and supportive household is hugely advantageous.

Many of the children in our care are simply looking for a home where a sense of family togetherness and encouragement to succeed is at the forefront of daily life. Drawing on your own experiences of how your parents or guardians raised you will make the ideal reference point for you to start your fostering adventure together.

If you consider yourself as someone who is patient, understanding and readily able to attend to the specific needs of the children in your care, then you are already on the right path towards becoming a great foster carer.


Transferrable skills from your previous experience

You don’t have to have had your own children or even worked with kids to enquire about becoming a foster carer with the National Fostering Group. Your individual skills, talents and life experience means that there will always be children that can benefit greatly from your care.

Previous first-hand experience and insight into caring for a child, including knowing how best to respond to a child’s health and emotional needs, is naturally an advantage. Our carers come from a wide range of professional fields and have been able to transfer these skills to foster care.

If you don’t have your own children or cared for them professionally, it is possible you can draw upon other experiences. Have you ever looked after someone else’s children, even if only for a short time? Do people comment that you are good with young people and they respond well to you?

Remember, if you feel you can foster, you’re not in this on your own. We offer excellent support and training to equip you to become a brilliant foster carer.


Become an advocate for your child’s health, wellbeing and education

Our foster carers are passionate in their desire to provide vulnerable children and young people across the UK with everything they need to succeed. This means a safe and stable home where they can live a happy and healthy lifestyle, as well as achieve all that they can from their education.

National Fostering Group’s dedicated local teams are behind you all the way, helping you build incredible futures for young people in our care. They will talk through with you and identify areas for personal development as a foster carer, as well as arranging for any additional support services you require.

Other foster carers in your area will be there to help you out too, with events and support groups – great opportunities to meet other foster carers; sharing stories and offering advice as part of a tight-knit fostering community.

When combining your own life experience with our nationally recognised fostering training and support, you will feel empowered to make the decisions required to ensure that the child or children in your care can grow up to become well-rounded adults within their respective communities.

Start your fostering journey with National Fostering Group

  • We’re 14 close-knit independent fostering agencies
  • Over 3,500 carers already part of our family
  • Benefit from our local support groups and social workers