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Who can be a foster carer?

Our foster carers come from all sorts of backgrounds and each brings their own unique experience to the role. Whatever your ethnic, religious, sexual orientation, cultural and language background, as long as you’re over 21 years old you could be eligible. For example, you could:

  • be single, living with a partner, or married
  • have children or step-children or you may have no children at all
  • be a tenant or a home-owner
  • live in a flat or a house
  • be in paid employment or not
  • continue to work, if you provide respite care. If you provide full time foster care, one person in the household needs to commit to being a full time carer.

Carers for children need a number of qualities. You must:

  • have understanding and enthusiasm for looking after children
  • be able to understand and empathise with a child who has experienced neglect or abuse and with a parent who has been unable to look after (or failed to protect) their child
  • not demand or expect gratitude from a child you look after
  • work as part of a team that can include the child’s family, social workers, educators and other professional staff
  • not become overwhelmed by children whose behaviour may sometimes be difficult and challenging
  • be flexible and non-judgmental
  • be able to negotiate and compromise
  • have the desire to change a young person’s life for the better
  • have a sense of humour!

Find out more about what carers do >