As an NFA foster carer you’ll experience the life-changing rewards of caring for a child, safe in the knowledge that one of the UK’s most experienced agencies is here to support you every step of the way.
What is a foster carer?
Foster carers, also know as foster parents, provide a full-time, safe and nurturing family environment, investing time and energy for the wellbeing of a child or young person.
To become a foster parent, you’ll need to be flexible, patient and understanding, and have a comfortable home with a bedroom for the exclusive use of your foster child.
There are opportunities to foster children from short to long-term, and we’ll work closely with you to find the perfect fostering opportunities. For more details, take a look at the types of foster care we offer.
Can I become a foster carer?
It’s likely that you can! To become a foster carer, your ability to care for and nurture a child is what really matters. We’re less concerned about your age, income or marital status.
To qualify for fostering, you can be married, cohabiting or single and you may be a homeowner or tenant. We welcome applications from all ethnic, cultural and religious backgrounds.
If you’re single, you’ll need to be at home full-time or have flexible, part-time employment. If you’re a couple, you’ll need to arrange your working hours so that one of you is available at all times.
When you apply to become a foster carer we also carefully consider the following:
Legal and personal references
Your ability to work with us as part of a professional team
Your health, background and lifestyle
Your skills, attitude and personality, including any experience of parenting or caring for children
Your ability to provide a caring and nurturing environment, including an assessment of your home
What’s the process to become a foster carer?
It usually takes around three to four months, and involves a detailed look at your life. Your supervising social worker will support you all the way.
With your consent we make checks on you and your family with the Criminal Records Bureau, Local Authorities and other agencies
We pay for you to have a full medical check-up with your GP
You provide referees (non family members) who can tell us about your suitability to become a foster carer
You attend our three-day ‘Skills to Foster’ training course
A supervising social worker will visit you and your family regularly to collect information for the assessment report, which is presented to the Fostering Panel (you are invited to attend) where a recommendation will be made
It may sound like a lot, but most people who have been through the assessment process tell us they find the experience very satisfying.
Once you’ve completed the assessment process and become a foster carer with us, we’ll be with you every step of the way to provide any additional support that you might need. Our foster carers also qualify for a generous fostering allowance to help them provide their foster children with the very best care.
Talk to us and find out more
We run regular events all around the UK where you can chat to foster parents to discover what it’s like to foster a child and take your first step towards making a huge difference.
Attend a local event, call the team on 0800 044 3030, or request a call back using the contact form on this page. We’re happy to answer all your questions about becoming a foster carer, so get in touch to find out everything you need to know.
Alternatively, take a look at our frequently asked questions to learn more about fostering with us, or read our fostering stories to learn more about what fostering is like from some of our real-life foster carers.