There are lots of misconceptions surrounding age when it comes to becoming a foster carer. Many people believe that there is an age limit for foster parents, when in reality there isn’t! 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.
So, you’ve got the miles under your belt; you have experience of looking after your own, or perhaps friend’s children, and you want to help a vulnerable child. Here’s how age could affect the fostering process.
Minimum and maximum age to foster
We want everyone to know that there is no maximum age limit to become a foster parent. Lots of people sadly opt to not apply to foster as they think they will be too old. We have many foster parents who are 55+ and provide loving and stable homes for children of all ages.
The only age related restriction associated with fostering is the minimum age of 21 years old to become a foster carer. We need to make sure you have a stable living situation, have some valuable transferrable experience and a strong support network.
With age come experience
Many older people make fantastic foster carers, as they have the life experience to help children with more complex needs or behaviours.
We have lots foster parents with mixed experience. Many have not had their own children but want to help a young person in need, where others have had children, grandchildren and (sometimes) even great grandchildren! Often our older foster parents have had their children grow up and move out, giving them the space and opportunity to foster.
Life experience brings understanding, empathy and life lessons. All of which are highly valuable for foster children.
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- it can require a lot of energy! It 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.
Our foster carers come from many different backgrounds, experiences and offer their own unique abilities. If you’d like to know more about how you can help children in need please get in touch with us. Our team of friendly professionals will be happy to answer any of your questions.