There is no such thing as an upper age limit for a foster carer, people can provide foster care for as long as they feel they have the energy and determination to make a difference to a child or young person. Here we provide you with all the information you need.
Minimum age to foster
To become a foster parent, there is a legal requirement for you to be over the age of 21, but you are never too old to foster.
At Fostering People, we want to ensure that you can be the very best foster parent you can be. The personal qualities you bring to the role are very important, and these qualities are often gained through life experience. As a result, we find that many people don’t consider fostering until they are 25+ unless they have had experience such as living in a family who foster for example, which often brings younger adults to fostering at an early age.
Maximum age to foster
There is no such thing as an upper age limit for a foster carer, people can provide foster care for as long as they feel they have the energy and determination to make a difference to a child or young person.
At Fostering People, the average age of our foster parents is 54, although we have foster parents in their 20s through to their 70s and 80s.
People often wonder when the best age is to start fostering, and whether they are too old to make such a change in their lives.
The best age is whatever age is right for you and your own circumstances. Because a spare room is essential, for many people they can’t consider fostering until their own children have left home and, as such, don’t start until their 50s. Other people choose to make the change in their 60s, as they want to make a difference and do something they feel is rewarding after a career doing something completely different.
Whatever your age, everyone is assessed as a foster parent in the same way and you’ll never be discriminated against because of your age.
Many people believe they can't foster because of their circumstances. We address some of the common myths below.
Can I work and foster?
Many people do work and foster but our fostering allowance means you may not need to. When you foster with us, we will always want to know that you are able to put a child you are looking after first.Read More
Single and fostering
Our warm welcome is extended to single foster parents, as well as couples. In fact, a third of all our foster parents are single so you won’t be alone.Read More
Do I need to own my own home to foster?
No you don't. If you rent either via a private landlord, housing association or council, we will contact them early in the assessment to ensure they our happy with their property being used for fostering. It is advisable to talk to your landlord about your wish to foster.
Can I still go out to work if I become a foster parent?
Yes, you can! Although many foster parents prefer not to. We offer generous fostering allowances so that the main foster parent doesn’t have to work. This means you can be constantly available for the child in your care, and able to attend meetings and continue training. Other foster parents prefer to work part-time and make themselves available at short notice, such as if their child falls ill at school. We have foster parents who continue to work and others who’d rather stay at home. We’ll look at this with you and consider your individual circumstances.
Can I foster if I take antidepressants/have depression/have had depression?
Yes you can if your current mental health is stable. We would not advise anyone taking antidepressants to stop taking them to foster if their health is improved and stable because of them.
I can't drive, does this mean I can’t foster?
No, you don’t have to drive to foster, although it can make life a lot easier. If you don't drive or have access to a car then it’s important to think about how you’ll help the children in your care get to school or attend visits with their birth family.
If you’re interested in becoming a foster parent and would like to learn more, then we’d love to hear from you.
Simply fill in the form below and one of our friendly team will be in touch.
To find out all you need to know about fostering, the application process and about fostering with Fostering People.