Becoming a foster carer
Our foster carers are a diverse group of people from all walks of life and come from all sorts of backgrounds. However, they do have one thing in common, and that's a passion for transforming the lives of some of Scotland’s most vulnerable children and young people.
Becoming a foster carer is a big decision and there are lots of things to think about before deciding whether it’s right for you. Discover how to foster a child in 6 steps and start your journey towards helping transform the lives of some of Scotland's most vulnerable children and young people.
Fostering finance calculator
To learn how much you could earn through fostering, try our Financial calculator.
Looking to find out more about fostering?
If you're thinking about fostering, then why not get in touch with our friendly fostering advisor Niki, who will be able to answer any questions you have about becoming a foster carer with FCA Scotland.
How long does the fostering process take?
From your initial enquiry to being an approved foster parent, the process can take between four and six months. While this may sound like a long time, the steps are there to ensure you've got everything you need and that you understand exactly what to expect when you foster for the first time.
You'll complete six stages in the process, with us here to guide you every step of the way. From your first training course to your Panel review, it's a thorough but exciting journey towards welcoming your first foster child into your home.
What are the foster care requirements?
What matters most to us is your dedication, commitment and passion for changing children's lives. Regardless of gender, sexuality, ethnicity, marital status or disability, you're eligible to apply to be a foster parent. However there are a few must-haves:
- You need to be 21, but there is no upper age limit to foster
- You must have a spare bedroom, but you do not need to own your house
- You must have a legal right to work in the UK
- You'll need the time to be able to foster a child full-time, however there are some exceptions
- You'll need a lot of patience, empathy and resilience
Other information about your fostering journey
Checks and references
During your fostering application process, we carry out a number of crucial and essential checks as well as references from people you might know personally or professionally.
Your first foster child
Before you start to foster you’ll be made aware of the young person’s history and why they need foster care, together with any specific needs or requirements. We’ll provide you with all the support you need.
Matching and referrals
We spend time getting to know our foster families which allows us to highlight their skills and experience to the local authority social worker, ensuring the right match and the better the outcomes for all.
Take a look at the application process, get in touch or read through our FAQs if you are still unsure if you can foster.
Who can apply to become a foster carer?
Anyone can apply to foster with us. We welcome foster carers from all walks of life; no matter what your gender, age, race or sexual orientation. We do have criteria though:
- You need a spare room
- You need to be over 21
- You need to have British Citizenship or permanent leave to stay in the UK
Do I need any special qualifications or experience to foster?
No, we will give you all the training you need together with ongoing development and support.
What happens when I’m approved?
Upon approval you are legally able to care for a young person. Once you’ve signed a Foster Carer Agreement you’ll be allocated a supervising social worker who will take you forward. You are then ready to take your first child or young person.
When does my first placement start?
This depends on many factors, such as on your personal circumstances, how soon we can find a child or young person that’s right for you and vice versa making sure we doing the right thing for everyone involved. We get new referrals from local authorities every day, so you might not have to wait very long.
You’ll be in regular contact with your supervising social worker and they’ll discuss the needs of the young person before they’re placed with you, you will also have the opportunity to ask any questions. Your supervising social worker will organise wherever possible for you to meet the child before. We want to make this transition as comfortable and as smooth as possible for you and your family.
Got some more questions?
Find out the answers here.
Speak to our team
Whether you're ready to start your journey or just want
to chat to an expert, we're here to help.