At What Age Can I Be A Foster Carer?

When considering being a foster carer, this is a relevant question as you may feel you are too young or possibly too old. This of course depends on your age, also your experience and future plans for your household or family.

There are the key considerations first ahead of your age, in that you need a spare room to be a foster carer and the commitment to support children and young persons. We should also note that Beacon Fostering welcomes applications from all and we promote diversity, inclusion and equality.

Minimum age for fostering

The minimum limit to be a foster carer is age 21 or above. If you are nearer this age or younger overall, your parenting experience would be an area to consider.

Birth children and growing up together

You may be planning your own children or fostering or adoption maybe an alternative. If you are planning your own children, it would be considering the impact on their lives, wellbeing and support. It is entirely possible to have your own birth children alongside supporting foster children, provided you have the time to support everyone well and the space also at your home. You would want to consider the approval terms you have when fostering ie. the age of the children or young persons you would support. If you have a younger birth child, it would be how the children would interact together and their respective support and personal development. The safeguarding consideration are also a key factor to plan and cover.

Developing your parenting experience for fostering

For parenting experience, you may have this yourselves already or you gain this in the future. You could alternatively undertake relevant training and spend time supporting other children. It could be an option to be a respite carer initially to have shorter placements to develop your parenting skills. The foster carer training team at Beacon Fostering can support with an allocated training plan. Your fostering assessor can also cover your parenting experience.

Being life experienced and there is no cut off age for fostering

If you are older or more experienced in life or parenting, this can place you in a good position to be a foster carer. There is no actual upper age limit for fostering. It comes back to being healthy, having the relevant time and then practical considerations around the home, for events, travel and or for supporting children and young persons. When we do get older, there may be an impact on our mobility or other wellbeing areas. These may not prevent you from fostering and we would recommend speaking to us, each person’s position and support is important to consider. There is also whether you are a single carer or joint applicant together. You may one person being younger and another older that can support each other.

Importance of your support network

Whenever looking at fostering, it is important to consider close individuals, friends or family members that can support you. This can be for when there are short term needs – like a trip to the dentist or doctor and you need someone to look after your children. Or it could be for day when you need a break and the relevant persons’ are approved as a back up carer for this. It is always important to have safeguarding checks and other risk considerations. Depending on your age, this can influence your support network and who you can call on.

Please contact our fostering recruitment team and they can talk you through this area further as there is no set answer, apart from age of 21 or above.

If you are based local to us in the North West and considering fostering in Preston, fostering in Blackpool, fostering in Liverpool, fostering in Manchester, fostering in Oldham, fostering in Bury, fostering in Bolton, fostering in Warrington or fostering in Blackburn. These are all areas (and surrounding locations) we are actively recruiting foster carers currently. It would be great if you are an existing foster carer, we can also support you in transferring fostering agency.

Here is a link and other information about if you can foster