Fostering and smoking

The Fostering Network is committed to ensuring that all children and young people in care are able to live healthy lives. We believe children are entitled to live in smoke-free homes and that fostering services and foster carers have a joint responsibility to support children to live in a healthy environment where their physical, emotional and psychological health is promoted.

The risks of passive smoking to health, particularly children’s health, are well known. As an organisation that supports adults to care for children, The Fostering Network’s position is that adults in a caring role should not smoke. There may be exceptions where an existing relationship outweighs the health risks to the child, for example within kinship, family and friends care; in these circumstances a cessation plan should be in place to enable the best possible care for all children.

We have worked with Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) and ASH Wales, with reference to guidance From CoramBAAF, to produce a briefing that sets out our joint position in relation to foster care, adoption, smoking and vaping (use of electronic cigarettes). It is intended to set out the current evidence base and aims to support organisations working with foster carers and adoptive parents to develop evidence-based policies on smoking and e-cigarette use. 

Recommendations from The Fostering Network, ASH and ASH Wales include:

  • All fostering service should move towards a situation whereby children and young people are only placed in smokefree homes.
  • All fostering and adoption services should adopt and regularly review policies around smoking and vaping in line with new evidence and any changes to regulations.
  • All foster carers and adoptive parents should be supported to maintain a smokefree home, car and other indoor spaces such as caravans or holiday homes. Providers should move towards a situation whereby children and young people are only placed in smokefree homes, even if the carer(s) are smokers i.e. where the carer(s) only smoke outside.


Click to read the full briefing


Updated: June 2022