I am retired, can I foster?
There are no official upper age limits. As long as you are reasonably fit and have the energy to make a commitment to care for other people’s children for some years, then you can foster.
I am single, can I foster?
You can be a married or unmarried couple, single - male or female. It doesn't matter if you are a parent or not.
I am gay, can I foster?
Whether you are straight, gay or bisexual, we welcome applications from people who can bring different skills, knowledge and life experiences to the fostering role. We are interested in assessing your ability to care for children, not your sexuality.
I don’t have specific qualifications, can I foster?
You won't need any special qualifications – but you will need a practical understanding of children and their needs. We'll give you the training you need as a foster carer, however training is not optional and we’ll expect all adults in the household to attend the skills to foster course as part of your assessment. Training and development is a core part of being an approved foster carer, where you must attain the national training standards and complete mandatory courses within a given timescale.
I have a disability, can I foster?
Everyone who applies to foster will need to undergo a medical as part of the assessment process to ensure you have the ability to care for a child. If you have a disability, our medical advisor will consider the factors and make recommendations on your ability to meet the demands of the role.
I smoke, can I foster?
You will not be excluded on the grounds you smoke, but you must stop smoking in the family home. No child aged less than five years or with respiratory or similar health conditions will be placed in a smoking household. Northumberland County Council encourages participation in a smoking cessation programme.
I have a health issue, can I foster?
You must undergo a medical and be physically and emotionally fit to be a foster carer.
I want to continue work, can I foster?
Yes although you may want to consider fostering on a part-time basis, such as providing respite care at weekends and school holidays, or you can join us as full-time foster carers. As long as you can make a regular commitment, our team are here to guide you about feasible options for you and the children who need your care. Our greatest need is for full-time foster carers who do not have any other work commitments.
I (or a member of my household) have a criminal conviction, can I foster?
Criminal convictions do not necessarily ban you from fostering. Much depends on the seriousness of the offence, how long ago the crime was committed and how you have lived your life since. You cannot foster if you have committed serious offences, like violence, or any offences against children.
Any other criminal convictions and cautions will be considered by the head of children’s services, who will decide whether or not an application can proceed. All household members aged 16 or over, need to agree to an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service check, and any other additional safeguarding measures considered by the agency to be appropriate.
I don’t drive, can I foster?
Yes, but you must have the capacity and means to meet the travel and transport requirements of the role, which will include transporting children to school and social activities; for you to attend fostering meetings and training; etc.
My son/daughter have questions about fostering. Where can they find information?
Click here to view our Children Who Foster booklet.