Who can foster?

All our foster carers have the passion, energy, skills and enthusiasm to care for children and young people and to help them to achieve. Sounds like you?

There is no such thing as a typical child or young person and the same can be said for our foster carers too. That’s why we need foster carers from all ages and backgrounds to ensure that children are matched as successfully as possible.

The main criteria are that you are over 21 years of age and have time and space to accommodate a child both in your heart and in your home. You must also have a spare bedroom that is suitable for a child to call their own.

You can see some answers to frequently asked questions below.

Can I be too old to foster?

No, there is no upper age limit as long as you feel you have the energy and good health required to look after a child or young person. Older carers often have the experience of bringing up their own children that can be useful when fostering, as some experience of children is essential.

Can I foster if I already have children of my own?

Yes, your whole family will be included in your assessment, and your children will be consulted about what they think about fostering. Many of our foster carers comment on the positive rewards that their birth children experience through being part of a foster family.

Can I foster if I am gay or lesbian?

Yes, we are committed to ensuring equal opportunities for all our carers. We are interested in assessing your ability to care for children not your sexuality.

Can I foster if I don't live in Doncaster?

Yes, we welcome applications from people who live outside of the town. However, you will have to decide whether it is practical, as children may need regular contact with their parents.

Can I foster if I work full-time?

Yes, as long as you have a flexible employer and enough time to devote to meeting a child’s needs. You will need to be available during school holidays.

Can I foster if I am unemployed?

Yes, as long as you are able to provide a secure home.

Can I foster if I don't have a spare bedroom?

No, all foster carers must have a spare bedroom that is able to accommodate a looked after child. This can either be in your own home or rented accommodation.

Can I foster if I smoke?

Yes, although you will not be able to foster children under the age of 5 years.

Can I foster if I am having fertility treatment or I am pregnant?

No, undergoing fertility treatment can be a difficult and emotional time, and we feel that this is not the best time to introduce a child into a home. If your treatment is unsuccessful then we will consider you 12 months after your last treatment cycle. If you are pregnant, or have recently had a child, we don’t think that it is suitable for you to foster at the present time.

Can I foster if I have a criminal conviction?

It depends on the conviction, when it was committed and how you have lived since. A Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) check will be made on all applicants.