Each individual or family will bring something different to the role and there are only a few basic requirements to consider at the initial stages of your fostering journey. By far the most important thing to remember is children need understanding, patience and stability, so you will need to be empathetic, resilient and committed.
We have a large community of foster carers with a range of backgrounds and you can foster as a single person, a couple or a family with children. You must, however, understand that fostering affects your whole family and close friends. If you’re in a relationship, your partner must want to foster too. If you have children of your own, you must consider how they will feel sharing their home with another child.
For most types of fostering, having formal experience working with children is an advantage but not a necessity. There are lots of other experiences that count, including voluntary work with children, working with vulnerable adults or raising your own family. When fostering some of the most vulnerable and challenging young people, however, having a degree of experience working with children in a professional setting will be essential.
Working in another job alongside fostering is something we consider, but the job must be reduced hours of work or very flexible. There are some employers who are registered as a fostering friendly company and this provides further days’ leave to allow you to attend various meetings about the child or to settle a child into your home. You must consider the child you foster as you priority and understand that many will have difficulties in their attachments. Therefore, using childminders or nanny’s is not encouraged; you need to be there for the child.
Having a criminal record won’t necessarily prevent you from fostering unless you have been convicted of violent or sexual offences, but you must be open and transparent from the beginning. You will also undergo a Disclosure and Barring Service check, as will any member of the household over the age of 16.
If you live in the North East of England within 50 miles of Newcastle and you'd like to become a foster carer, please complete our fostering enquiry form or call 0191 277 2430 or email: email@example.com