There are plenty of misconceptions surrounding age when it comes to becoming a foster carer.
Many people believe that there is an age limit for foster parents. In fact, one of our most frequently asked questions is ‘how old can foster parents be?’
We want everyone to know that there is no upper age limit for fostering. As long as you have the dedication, time and space to welcome a child into your home, it’s likely you’d make a brilliant foster parent.
If you’re looking to begin your fostering journey but are concerned about how age could affect the fostering process, here’s a few things to consider!
Fostering Criteria Age Limits
Unfortunately, lots of people don’t apply to foster as they think they will be too old. However, as aforementioned, there is no age limit for fostering in the UK. We just need to make sure you have a stable living situation, have some valuable transferrable experience and a strong support network.
The only age-related restriction associated with fostering is the minimum age of 21 years old to become a foster carer. This is a legal, national requirement for foster care and is part of our fostering criteria.
With Age Comes Experience
At Compass, our foster carers come a variety of different backgrounds and life experiences. As a fostering agency, we want to be never too quick to judge. We understand that with age comes experience, and welcome applicants of all ages.
Many older people make fantastic foster carers, as they have the life experience to help children with more complex needs or behaviours. We have carers that are in their late 50s, 60s or 70s fostering with us, making a difference to the lives of vulnerable children and young people every day.
Many of our carers have not had their own children but want to help a young person in need. Others have had their own children, grandchildren and (sometimes) even great grandchildren! Often, our older foster parents have had their children grow up and move out, giving them the additional space and opportunity to foster.
Ultimately, we believe that additional life experience brings understanding, empathy, and valuable life lessons.
Our dedicated Family Finding Teams expertly match our foster carers with children and young people who suit their individual skillsets and experience. Our carers also have access to high-quality training and 24/7 wrap-around support. This ensures the best outcomes possible for everyone involved!
The Fostering Medical
During your fostering assessment with us, we will ask you to have a fostering medical with your GP. Young or old, this is a necessary requirement that every prospective carer will be asked to have.
This is so a doctor can determine whether you are fit and healthy enough to be a foster parent, as fostering can require a lot of energy!
This assessment takes into consideration your physical and mental health, lifestyle, and anything you would need to keep in mind- like family medical history. This way we’ll know how best to support you, too.
If you think you could make a difference to the life of a child, regardless of your age, please get in touch with us!
Alternatively, if you’re wondering what the process of becoming a foster parent might look like, check out our five step guide here.