Do you have what it takes to foster?
Our foster carers come from all walks of life, different age ranges, ethnicities and personal circumstances. What they all share is the willingness to learn new skills, to work as part of a team with social workers, the child’s family network and other professionals. The whole team are working together with the child’s best interest at heart.
We'd love to hear from you if you:
- are aged 21 or over - there is no upper age limit
- are single, married or in a civil partnership
- have children of your own or not
- rent or own your home
- have a spare bedroom
- have the time, energy and strength of character to foster
We will guide you through the process step-by-step. Taking the time to get to know you and your family; to deal sensitively with your questions and provide you with initial training and support, enabling you to make informed decisions about becoming a foster carer.
Once approved as a foster carer, we continue to support you with training, supervision and a variety of support groups.
We will work with you, your wishes and have the opportunity to adapt and utilise your skills and commitment in many ways.
Meet some of our amazing foster carers and find out if fostering could be for you.
Who can foster?
Anyone can apply to foster regardless of whether they are male or female, single, married or living with a partner.
You can also foster whether you have your own children or not, whether you live in your own home or rent, whatever your race, religion or sexuality.
There is no legal minimum age to become a foster carer but, in Luton, we need you to be over 21. This is so that foster carers will have some of the life experiences to enable them to meet the needs of the children placed with them.
There is also no official upper age limit for foster carers. Many older people make excellent carers, providing you are fit enough to look after a child. You could bring a wealth of skills and experience to the role.
Do I have enough time to be a foster carer?
Being a foster carer will make demands on your time. You will need to look at how you manage other commitments, eg: working, other care commitments, interests and hobbies, alongside being a foster carer.
Providing stability for the child or teenager in your care is key and you will be expected to provide the majority of care. To help you, we have a number of different types of fostering.
- General foster carers: foster full time and can opt for short or long-term placements
- Respite carers: provide short-term cover, eg: overnight stays, weekend cover and/or holiday periods
- Parent and child carers: offer a placement to a young mother and their baby.
- Contract+ carers: foster full time and provide care for an older child or teenager, many with complex needs where you will be expected to understand and assist teenagers with the issues faced.
How much will I know about the child before they are placed with me?
We discuss every potential placement with you as it’s your decision whether or not to take that child into your home.
We try to provide as much information as possible about a child, giving additional support and guidance where it’s needed. But sometimes, we only have limited information to share. For example this could be the case with an emergency placement.
Do I have to be a British citizen?
There is no requirement to be a British citizen to be a foster carer in Luton. Children from a wide range of backgrounds need foster families, so we need carers from all background. But either you or your partner, if you are fostering as a couple, must be resident in the UK, with indefinite leave to remain.
Do I need to speak English at an adequate standard to be a foster carer?
A large number of children in foster care do not have English as a first language and being placed in a home where their first language is spoken can be very beneficial for them.
You will need an adequate level of spoken and written English to be able to communicate with professionals, support a child’s education and to make notes and keep records on the child's day to day life. If you have any particular communication needs, we are more than willing to discuss this with you.
I have heard that I can’t become a foster carer because I smoke. Is that true?
You will not be able to foster children under five, and we ask you not to smoke around any other age group. On its own, smoking does not bar you from fostering in Luton. What better reason could you have to give up smoking than becoming a foster carer?
If you have a query about fostering and would like to learn more, please contact us between:
- 9am and 5.30pm, Monday to Thursday
- 9am to 4.30pm Friday
E: [email protected]
T: 01582 547633
- Express an interest and start your fostering journey