Am I too old to foster?

Is there a maximum age for fostering? Many people think that to become a foster carer, you must be a little older with more experience of life. While it’s true that nationally the majority of foster carers are aged over 40, the reality is that anyone can foster – provided they’re over 21. There’s no upper age limit either, and we have foster carers who provide care and support to children well into their seventies, and sometimes even older. So whatever your age, please think about applying.

Younger foster carers

We have a number of younger foster carers in our team and we’re really keen to recruit more – married, single, straight, gay and single carers because they’re closer to children in age and we know they have plenty to offer. You don’t need experience either, although if you’ve cared for a younger brother or sister or worked with children in a voluntary or professional capacity it would help.

You might be surprised to learn that fostering, with its training, potential and rewards – is able to offer a varied and satisfying long-term career, so the benefits are significant. However, it’s also important to understand that it requires a big time commitment and you’ll need to accommodate the child in your life including evenings and weekends. Even if you’ve got the support of a family or a wide network of friends, this can be challenging. Even more so if you have a demanding job, which means it might not always be possible to combine work and fostering.

All we’d say is that if you’re interested, get in touch. With the support and training we offer and all the events and activities we organise, fostering might be a great career choice for you – one that brings you great satisfaction, a new network of friends, and a real opportunity to grow and develop.

Is there a maximum age for fostering?

There’s no maximum age limit for fostering so we welcome applications from older people, provided you have the energy to cope with the everyday physical demands of caring for young children – such as the school run and supporting them in play activities. As part of your assessment, we’ll ask you to have a medical examination with your local GP. This is something we ask all foster carers to do, regardless of their age, to make sure fostering is suitable for both you and for the child.

In summary, foster carers come from all walks of life and ages, and there’s no ‘ideal’ type. We’re only interested in the care, skills and commitment you’re able to bring to the work. So if you think you have what it takes, we think you should get in touch.

How to become a foster carer

To become a foster carer there are six steps you’ll complete, the process can take between four and six months.

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Why foster?

Becoming a foster carer is an amazing opportunity to give a child or young person the new start they need

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foster children smiling

Fostering finance calculator

The amount you receive in foster care payments varies from placement to placement. We understand that some children have more challenging needs and requirements than others, and that sometimes you’ll need a helping hand. Factors such as this, along with the age of the child being placed with you and the type of placement, can all affect the allowances and fostering payments you’ll receive.

Find out what payments you could receive

Frequently asked questions

What is the minimum age for becoming a foster carer?

As long as you’re over 21, fostering isn’t about your age – it’s about the energy and commitment that you bring to the role.

Find out more.

Is there a maximum age to foster?

There really is no maximum age limit for fostering with us and many of our foster carers continue to foster well into their 70s.

All we ask is that you’re still able to fulfill the more active side of fostering – such as the school run and outdoor activities – and that you can do so with enthusiasm and energy.

Find out more.

Can I still work and be a foster carer?

In some cases it is still possible for you to continue working on a part-time or flexible basis depending on your individual circumstances.

Ideally we ask for at least one foster carer to be available for fostering on a full-time basis, so that we can ensure that the child or young person in your care is being looked after in the best way possible. As a foster carer, you have responsibility for day-to-day tasks; the school run, be available during school holidays, attend medical appointments on behalf or with your child, attend training, review meetings.  Should you have a problem on an odd occasion, your supervising social worker can help you make alternative arrangements.

I’m now retired, am I able to foster?

Yes absolutely. We look for potential foster carers who can dedicate their time and experience to supporting children and young people, and many people find that retirement gives them this opportunity.

Find out more.

More FAQs

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Whether you’re ready to start your journey or just want to chat to an expert, we're here to talk.

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