Can I Foster?
Take our quick quiz to see if you might be eligible to become a foster carer. The answers will give you a good feel for the types of things we look for. There are only 15 questions, and it shouldn’t take you more than 5 minutes to complete. Don’t worry, this is not part of the application process and we wont see your answers.
Q1. Are you aged 21 or over?
Great! You have to be over 21 years old to foster and we particularly welcome the added life experience of those over 35 years old. Many of our carers continue fostering into their 60s and enjoy developing their skills through the ongoing training we offer.
Although we don't take on carers under 21, you can start the application process if you're 21 in the next year. If you're younger than this, why not chat to us today to get all of the information you need to start the process in the future. In the meantime, you can also sign up to our newsletter, to keep in touch!
Q2. Are you a permanent resident in the UK with indefinite leave to remain, citizenship or full settled status?
Fantastic! This is a legal requirement to becoming a foster carer, and checking your documentation is part of our application process.
Unfortunately it's a legal requirement for foster carers to be a UK resident or have indefinite leave to remain in the UK. If you're currently in the process of applying for indefinite leave to remain, feel free to contact us to find out more about the fostering process for the future.
Q3. Are you married, or in a civil partnership?
We’ll collect this information for our records, but it doesn’t matter whether you’re married or single, gay or heterosexual, as long as you are committed to fostering and are able to offer a child a safe and secure environment. That’s the most important thing.
No problem, it doesn’t matter whether you’re married or single, gay or heterosexual, as long as you are committed to fostering and are able to offer a child a safe and secure environment. That’s the most important thing. If you're part of a couple, you must have lived together for more than 2 years, to be considered committed in your relationship, before thinking about fostering. This is to make sure you are able to offer a stable environment for a foster child.
Q4. Do you have children under the age of 10?
Many foster carers have children of their own. However, it is important to understand that fostering does have an impact on your own family dynamics.
As your own children will have to share you with a foster child, who may be quite challenging, we advise new applicants to wait until their own children are settled in secondary school.
Thanks for letting us know. Whilst many foster carers do have children of their own, it is important to understand that fostering does have an impact on your own family dynamics. This is why we advise new applicants to wait until their own children are settled in secondary school.
Q5. Do you have a spare room?
Fantastic! Foster children need their own personal space. The room must be theirs alone and not regarded as a bedroom for another member of the family to return to (i.e. an older child away at university)
Foster children need their own personal space so we would be unable to progress with an application where there is no spare room, but please keep in touch should you consider moving to a larger home.
Q6. Are you a homeowner?
Great! You don't have to be a homeowner to become a foster carer so long as your housing payments are up to date and your house is suitable.
Not a problem! As long as your rent payments are up to date, your house is suitable and you are settled, it doesn’t matter if you own or rent your home, or if you live in council or housing association accommodation. However you may need to get permission from your landlord to foster in your home, so it’s wise to check first.
Q7. Do you have a health problem or disability?
Having a health problem or disability doesn’t automatically rule you out for fostering, but you will need a medical check to make sure you are fit and healthy enough to care for children. If you’d like to discuss your individual situation, you can contact us today for a confidential, informal chat.
Great. We give all of our prospective carers a medical check anyway, just to make sure they are fit and healthy enough to care for children.
Q8. Do you currently work full time?
Foster children typically need a high level of care and support and so it’s important that at least one carer is at home full time. However if you’re working at the moment, we wouldn’t expect you to give up work until your foster child is due to arrive at your home. There is also the option to become a respite carer which is more compatible with working, especially in flexible roles.
Most of our foster carers don’t have another job; being a foster carer is a career in itself! We ask that one member of the household is available full time, to provide support for the child's needs and be available for appointments and meetings. There is also the option to become a respite carer which is more compatible with working, especially in flexible roles.
Q9. Do you have a criminal record?
A criminal record doesn't automatically exclude you from fostering. We carry out Disclosure & Barring Service checks to ensure potential foster carers have no history of violence, or convictions or crimes against children. We also carry out a Local Authority check to see if you have previously been involved with Social Services. You wont have to pay for any of these checks, we take care of that for you.
You can call us anytime for a confidential chat about your particular situation.
Great. While certain types of criminal history may have no bearing on your ability to foster, we carry out Disclosure & Barring Service checks to ensure potential foster carers have no history of violence, or convictions or crimes against children. We also carry out a Local Authority check to see if you have previously been involved with Social Services. You wont have to pay for any of these checks, we take care of that for you.
Q10. Do you have pets?
We know there are many benefits to raising children alongside animals. We'll consider the safety of any pets as part of our Home & Safety Checklist. We wont be able to accept you if you have a dog requiring registration under the Dangerous Dogs Act, or have more than 3 dogs in the home.
Great. Pets can be a fantastic addition to the home, but would require a safety assessment first. If you consider getting a pet in the future, this is something we would discuss.
Q11. Have you fostered before?
Excellent, we welcome the added experience that existing foster carers bring to our team. We think you'll be impressed by our support and training opportunities, allowing you to develop your skills further. But don’t just take our word for it, we can put you in touch with some of our carers so you can hear for yourself what Tree House Care can offer.
Not a problem, we provide all the training and support you'll need to provide an outstanding level of care for a child in need of a loving home.
Q12. Are you currently fostering a child?
Don't worry, if you're currently registered with another agency or Local Authority we make the transfer process as quick and simple as we can. Give us a call today to discuss your personal situation and hear what Tree House Care can offer.
Ok great. For any applicants who are registered with another agency or Local Authority we make the transfer process as quick and simple as we can. Feel free to give us a call today to discuss your personal situation and hear what Tree House Care can offer.
Q13. Do you have experience working with, or caring for, children?
That's great news! Fostering gives you the opportunity to use all of your personal qualities, skills and experience to the very best of your ability – giving desperately needy children the chance of a family, a home, to feel wanted and to feel loved. You will discover the satisfaction of helping to shape and change a child’s life for the better.
Don't worry, our foster carers have a very wide range of backgrounds, education and circumstances. So long as you are commited to providing a safe and loving home for a child in need, we'll encourage you the whole way with ongoing training and 24/7 support.
Q14. Do you smoke?
Whilst having a smoker in the house won't rule you out as a foster carer, we don’t place children under five years old in a household where anyone smokes. We ask that any household members that smoke, do so outside away from children.
Great. Ideally no member of the household would smoke, but it won't rule you out completely. We don’t place children under five years old in a household where anyone smokes. We ask that any household members that smoke, do so outside away from children.
Q15. Do you have a driving license and access to a car?
Excellent. We ask that one of the main carers in the household has a driving license and access to a car, to enable them to take children to any meetings or appointments.
Ok, this may not be a problem, if you are living with a partner who has a licence and car. Foster children can have a number of meetings and appointments they need to attend, so we ask that one of the main carers has a driving licence and access to a car to make sure these appointments are met. If neither of you currently drive but are planning to change this, why not get in touch and talk about your options for the future.
Fantastic, your responses show you're likely to be a good candidate for fostering. Why not get in touch today to talk to one of our team and find out more about fostering with Tree House Care.
It looks like you might not be ready to start your fostering journey just yet, but why not contact us today to chat through your personal situation and options for the future.