Requirements to Foster

Guide to Fostering Children - Part Two

Are you unsure about the requirements to foster? Maybe you’re concerned that you won’t fit the bill as a foster carer, or you think that some area of your background might exclude you.
Requirements to Foster
Well here’s the thing: if you’re keen to foster children, there aren’t many obstacles. Children need foster families from all walks of life. The factors you think might exclude you, probably won’t. Most people’s concerns about whether they will meet the requirements are wide of the mark.

Essential Criteria You Must Meet

There are hundreds of foster care agencies and small differences in the criteria they use. These are the critical requirements that all fostering agencies expect you to meet:
The aim of foster care has always been to deliver therapeutic care to children who can’t live with their parents. But the fostering landscape has definitely changed in recent decades. Here are three fundamental ways it has changed.
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Other Fostering Requirements

Here are some more requirements that you might come across, according to who you foster children with:
A fostering agency will take your circumstances and background into account. But it’s the quality of care and support you can offer that’s likely to be more critical. They will consider your capacity to look after children safely and responsibly.

Your Experience

Your personal experience of life, (both good and bad!) has helped to form the person you are. It’s helped to shape the way you meet challenges, form relationships and respond to different circumstances. This kind of experience is valuable and unique to you.

Your Qualifications

You don’t need specific qualifications to be a foster carer. And your educational background won’t matter. But, it can be an advantage to have qualifications related to care work or working with children.


Within the role of fostering children, there is room for individuality and creativity. Qualities such as; integrity, discipline, generosity, enthusiasm, and self-awareness will serve you well as a foster carer.


If you meet the essential requirements above, you’re likely eligible to foster a child. Don’t focus too much on the skills you’ll need to foster; most agencies provide excellent pre-approval training. You’ll also receive plenty of support and training opportunities once you’re approved.
Requirements to Foster is 2nd part of our 7-part Guide to Fostering Children. Part 3 looks at How to Become a Foster Carer.
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