Criteria to foster

You can foster if you:

  • have a spare bedroom in your home
  • are aged over 21
  • speak, read and write English to a good standard
  • love looking after and caring for children

Where you live

To help you attend meetings and get involved in our community, we advise all Bradford carers to live within, or near the Bradford district.

Bradford district

What else should I think about?

How many children can I foster?

It depends on how much space you have in your home. Foster children need their own bedroom, although brothers and sisters of the same sex can sometimes share. We will discuss how many children you can foster at your home visit.

Can I foster if I have a baby?

It’s usual that your youngest child would be at least two years older than your oldest foster child, but if you have relevant experience and skills, we can discuss this during your information call.

Can my birth children share a bedroom if the foster child has their own bedroom?

This depends on the age of your children; the size of the shared bedroom and if your children are happy to continue to share a room as they grow older. We will discuss this further with you during an information session or during your info call back.

Can I foster if I live with extended family?

This will depend will depend on a number of factors, including:

  • who owns your home and are they happy for you to foster in the home
  • who lives with you
  • if there’s enough space in your home
  • whether the other people in your home are happy to foster and be included in your fostering assessment

Please contact us so we can discuss your individual circumstances.

Can I foster if I don’t have a lot of family support?

Not having family support will not necessarily stop you from becoming a foster carer.

As fostering can be a challenging and demanding role, we ask you to consider your wider support network and who you could rely on during a stressful time. We will ask you about your support network during the application process.

Support doesn’t have to just come from family – your support network can include friends, work colleagues and other foster carers. You will also receive support and advice from us.

Can I foster if I have a criminal record?

As part of the assessment process, all applicants and all members of the applicants’ household undergo undergo an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check, where all previous criminal convictions will need to be recorded and discussed.

Many factors determine whether someone with a criminal record is eligible to foster a child, including the type of crime and when it was committed. If you wish to foster and have a criminal record, please get in touch with our team who can advise you on your eligibility.

What level of English is required to be a foster carer?

Foster carers should be fluent in English (speaking, reading and writing), while partners ideally should be able to communicate to the Level 3 English as a Second Language standard.

I haven’t/my partner hasn’t lived in the UK for over 5 years, can we still foster?

To foster as a couple with Bradford Fostering, one of you needs to have lived in the UK for at least 5 years and have indefinite leave to remain or be a UK citizen. Both of you must be committed to living in the UK for the foreseeable future.

If you are applying as a single person, you must have lived in the UK for a minimum of 5 years, have indefinite leave to remain or be a UK citizen.

Other FAQs

Do I need any special qualifications to foster?

No, you don’t need any special qualifications to foster. We will provide you with training to help get you ready for the role.

We do ask that you have some childcare experience, whether this is through work or with your own children.

How much does it cost to become a foster carer?

Most of your assessment costs are covered by us.

If you have two or more dogs, a dog on the “dog of caution” list or a pet we are worried about, you will have to pay for their assessment.

Also, if your home needs any improvements making to make it safe for our young people (such as installing a new fuse box or fixing fencing), you will have to pay for these works yourself.

You will have to attend training to be a foster carer, which you may need to take time off work to attend.

Can I foster if I’m overweight?

Being overweight does not exclude you from fostering. As part of the fostering application process, all potential carers complete a medical assessment, which is sent to our medical advisor for their views.

All foster carers need to be healthy and active to look after our children and young people.

Can I foster if I don’t drive?

Though you don’t need to drive to become a foster carer, it is preferred.

Having access to a car can make the school run and food shopping easier. As a foster carer, it is your responsibility to transport your foster children to school, activities and appointments.

We will not pay for taxis if you don’t drive.

Who is responsible for taking a foster child to and from school?

As the foster carer, you will be responsible for taking the child to and from school.

If you have your own children, you should consider how you would manage different school pick up and drop off times.

We eat Halal – what would we do if a foster child wanted to eat pork?

You would not have to bring pork into your home.

If your foster child wanted to eat pork, we ask that you take them out for a meal.