Just as there is diversity in fostered children, foster carers need to come from a variety of backgrounds and have different life experiences, skills and qualities to help meet the needs of children and young people in foster care. There are, however, some common criteria that most fostering services need from you:
becoming a foster carer
Every 20 minutes another child comes into care needing a foster family in the UK.
The reasons children come into care varies widely, including a parent’s short-term illness or another temporary problem within the family. Some children may have witnessed domestic violence or a parent’s depression or drug or alcohol abuse. Others may have been abused or neglected. Each child’s circumstances and needs are unique.
Every year, tens of thousands of children across the UK need foster carers while they can’t live with their own families.
Like other jobs working with children, fostering isn’t easy but is very rewarding and makes a huge difference to children’s lives.
The local authority will be required to evidence that each staying put arrangement meets ‘basic standards’. It is the local authority’s responsibility to provide (whether directly or through commissioned services) support to both the young person and to the former foster carers. This includes foster carers approved and supported by independent fostering providers. The levels of support to be provided should take account of the individual circumstances and needs.
The Skills to Foster™ provides a seamless way to train and assess prospective foster carers. It includes our market-leading pre-approval course and competency-based assessment materials. We are also able to support your delivery of the pre-approval course with our popular Train the Trainers course.
By listening to and working with our members we create vital change. We influence fostering policy and practice at every level and campaign to ensure foster care is the very best it can be. We also raise the profile of fostering and challenge the myths and stigma surrounding care. Join our membership to become a part of the UK's largest fostering community. Read more about the benefits of membership below.
In general, any individual in England who wishes to be registered to care for four or more unrelated looked after children is required to register as a children’s home. Registration as a foster carer usually limits the number of unrelated children who can be cared for at any one time to three.