Who can become a foster carer?
We seek foster carers from a wide range of backgrounds and experience to match the individual needs of children and young people. A great foster carer has the quality of patience, understanding and enthusiasm as well as the kindness to share their home and life with others.
Almost anyone can apply to become a foster carer; however there are some criteria that you will need to meet in order to be eligible.
The criteria are:
- You are at least 21 years of age
- You have a spare bedroom which can comfortably accommodate a foster child
- You do not have significant health problems that would hinder your role as a foster carer. You will be asked to undertake a medical with your GP to ensure you are healthy enough to be a foster carer
- Children aged 5 and under will not be placed in households where someone smokes
- You have not committed serious offences, offences relating to violent, sexual crimes or have convictions for such offences. We need to check out all potential carers with the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks. Some people who have a criminal record can foster but careful consideration will be given to the nature and seriousness of the offence, how long ago the crime was committed and how you live your life now. DBS checks are undertaken on people aged 16 years and over living in your household.
- You need to be available to care for your foster children including taking them to school, attending meetings and other appointments. For children who are under school age, you need to be fully committed to fostering and a carer needs to be available at all times
- For those considering caring for children of school age, you can work part time but you need to be flexible to allow you to respond to the child's needs, meetings and school holidays
- You have a computer/laptop and have access to the internet
Our Commitment to you
We will always:
- treat you politely and considerately
- listen and respond to you
- help you get the right service
- be clear about what we can and cannot offer
- do our utmost to resolve things if they go wrong
- be open and fair with you
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I become a foster carer…
...if I am single or a single parent?
Yes you can. We are committed to equality of opportunity, therefore we have an ‘open door’ policy where we consider applications for married, unmarried, single women and men and single parents.
...if I am gay / lesbian?
Yes you can. We are interested in your skills and aptitude for the fostering task, regardless of your sexual orientation.
...if I am of retirement age?
Yes you can. We do not operate an upper age limit. We would expect you to be reasonably fit and active as fostering can be challenging.
...if I have children?
Yes you can. Any children in your home would be included in the process of you becoming an approved foster carer as the impact on them and their views would be an important consideration.
...if I live in rented accommodation?
Yes you can. However, you would need to inform your landlord and seek written permission from them to undertake fostering in rented accommodation. We would expect each child to have their own bedroom (unless they are siblings and where it was appropriate for them to share) and there would need to be enough room in your home to offer a safe and secure environment.
...if I work full or part time?
For those considering caring for children of school age, you can work part time (up to 20 hours per week) but you need to be flexible to allow you to respond to the child's needs, meetings and school holidays. If there is a secondary carer, they are able to work full-time.
...if I have a disability or health condition?
Yes you can. Anyone who wishes to become a foster carer has to have a medical with their GP as part of the process of becoming approved. This medical would take into account any disability or health issue. Our agency medical advisor would then take into account all the factors and make a recommendation to the fostering panel for approval.
...if I do not live in Milton Keynes?
Yes you can. However you may wish to consider fostering for the local authority in which you live. We often seek foster carers to care for children / young people on a permanent basis and where children / young people need to live outside of Milton Keynes.
...if I have an offence or criminal conviction?
Offences or criminal offences do not necessarily bar you from fostering. We would need to take into consideration the seriousness of the offence / conviction, how long ago the offence or crime was committed and how you live your life now.
Last Updated: 31 May 2019