Who can foster a child with us

Who can foster?

A foster carer walking down the street talking to a young person

If you’ve already decided you’d like to foster a child or would like an informal chat with a member of our team, you can request an information pack or a callback through our online form.  

Request an information pack

What you need, to be able to foster

You can provide foster care if you:

  • have a spare bedroom
  • are aged over 21
  • live in or near Central Bedfordshire
  • rent your property, or own your home (we just ask that you have a secure tenancy for at least two years)
  • drive and have access to a car. If you're applying as a couple and one of you can drive, you are welcome to give us a call on 0300 300 8181 and we can discuss the possible options and schemes that may suit you
  • have indefinite leave to remain or full residency within the UK

The personality and skills you'll need

The most important thing is that you are in good health to physically and emotionally meet the individual needs of the children you'll be looking after. You'll need:

  • to be sensitive and understanding
  • patience, with the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • the ability to work well with others
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • good verbal communication skills
  • thinking and reasoning skills

Read more about the personal qualities and life skills you have that could make you a great foster carer. 

Are there any restrictions and requirements to becoming a foster carer?

We’ve covered the main considerations, but you'll also be asked to give us permission to contact certain people and organisations, so we can do enhanced background checks. These might include a DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check with your employer and other local authorities, if you have lived outside of Central Bedfordshire.

You’ll also need the ability to foster full-time, but there may be some exceptions to this, such as becoming a respite foster carer where you can provide short breaks for children.

It's a joint decision: do other adults in your house want to foster, too?

It’s important to consider that, if you have a partner or another adult living in your home, they will also be part of your fostering assessment.

Ready to foster?

Request an information pack

Read more about fostering with us

Foster East logo

We’re part of Foster East, partnering with other councils in the south east to support foster carers and help children thrive.

Learn more about Foster East