There is an ever-growing demand for foster families in the UK, for every child people think is in foster care, there are actually two. With an increasing need for foster parents, and seriously underestimated numbers when it comes to foster care, it is vital that children are given the safe and stable home they deserve.
Compass Fostering always want to bring out the potential in our applicant foster carers rather than look for areas to rule people out. Our carers come from a variety of backgrounds and have different life experiences; offering their own unique qualities and skills to look after young people. Sometimes people’s living circumstances or working patterns mean that they can’t accommodate a vulnerable child. This can be changed over time, whereas other factors might be more of a permanent influence causing you to be unable to foster.
As a rule, if you do not meet our minimum requirements to apply to foster with us, we will not be able to consider you as a foster carer. Most fostering organisations will have these as a standard set of requirements. Before you send us your application, we ask:
1. You must have a spare bedroom
We ask that you have a spare room big enough for a young person to live in. A foster child can share a room with their sibling but not with your birth children, keeping in mind the best interest of all young people. If you apply with us to fostering, we ask that the bedroom is ready to be viewed when you have your initial visit with a social worker (this is arranged after you enquire with us.)
2. You must be at least 21 years old
There is no age limit for fostering, although all applicants must be active and healthy in order to care for a child in their home. Fostering does require a lot of energy, but providing you are fit and healthy there’s no reason you couldn’t do it. Older carers also often bring invaluable experience to the role.
3. You must not own any animals on the banned animal list
Pets usually don’t pose a problem if you want to foster, often a furry (or not so furry) friend is a great source of comfort for a lot of families. They can help children build trust and be a great source of support and unconditional love.
However, in the UK, it is against the law to own certain breeds of dog due to their possible dangerous nature and temperament. We cannot allow for any vulnerable child to be placed into a home where an animal may cause danger to them. A pet assessment will be carried out during your own fostering assessment with us, so as long as your pet doesn’t pose a risk to the safety of others, a pet shouldn’t present problems.
4. You need to have permanent leave to remain in the UK
You, and if you have a partner, need to have indefinite leave to remain in the UK or be a full-time UK resident. If you’re not sure what this means or if you have it, you can read about your citizenship here.
5. Must not have any criminal offences relating to violence against children
Whilst it is possible to foster with a criminal record, it will be unacceptable for us to consider you for fostering if you have cautions or convictions charged against you with violence or sexual violence offences against children. Keeping our vulnerable children safe is our priority, therefore if you have a conviction relating to this, or your partner does, we would not be able to take your enquiry further.
Each of our fostering applicants go through an in-depth assessment process with us and are approved by a panel of childcare experts. If you have any questions about the requirements to foster or fostering in general, please get in touch with us here.