Who can foster?
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.
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
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.