Who Can Foster?

Everything you need to know about who can foster a child or children

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Not Sure Whether Fostering’s The Right Path For You?

Interested in becoming a foster carer but not sure whether it's right for you? It’s only natural to have a lot of questions if you’ve never fostered a child or children before. And when you don’t have all the answers it can put you off taking that important first step. We get it. That’s why we're here to put your mind at ease and make it easy to find out whether becoming a foster carer is suited to you.

“Fostering is everything I thought it would be and nothing like I thought it would be”

Diagrama Foster Carer

Who Can Foster? Your Questions Answered.

What qualifications do I need to foster a child?

No formal qualifications are required. If we believe fostering is a good fit for you, we’ll provide the relevant training – for FREE. Your personal development will be ongoing to enable you to provide the best support possible for the children in your care.

Am I too old to foster?

Anyone over 21 can apply to become a foster carer and there is no upper age limit – in fact several of our foster carers are aged 60+. However, your age and health may be taken into account when considering the age and needs of the children suitable for placement with you.

Do I need to be married to be a foster carer?

No - our foster carers can be single. They can also be married couples, in civil partnerships or unmarried couples (whether heterosexual or same-sex) – they just need to demonstrate your ability to provide a caring and nurturing environment for your foster child.

I am from a minority ethnic background - can I foster?

We welcome foster carers from all backgrounds, regardless of race/ethnicity. Local authorities often match children with foster carers from similar backgrounds and there is a high demand for foster carers with BME heritage. While additional languages/cultural experiences always help enrich a child’s experience, we’d need you to be able to speak and write English.

Do you need to be religious to adopt?

No, we welcome enquiries from people of any or no religious faith. What is important is that you can promote the child’s religious belief, regardless of your own.

My partner is a smoker, can we still foster

We encourage applicants to be non-smokers. It is Diagrama Fostering’s policy not to place children under the age of five in households where there are people who smoke, vape or use e-cigarettes.

What about my job?

Can I still work while fostering? In some circumstances you can foster and continue to work, providing you can balance the needs of your foster child/children with your work. If you foster as a couple, one of you will usually be designated the “main” foster carer and the other could then work in another role. Foster carers are expected to be available to care for children, attend meetings, training, support groups, and to promote and support contact between a child and their family. If you plan to work full-time while fostering, you may be more suited to a ‘part-time’ foster care role (about foster caretypes of foster care), such as respite care.

I live in a rented flat – would that stand against my fostering application?

No – we only ask that your foster child has their own bedroom and your home has appropriate, adequate and stable accommodation. You do not need to own your own home to become a foster carer.

I had some health problems last year – can I still foster?

Providing your health is sufficient now and you have the vigour to manage energetic children, then this shouldn’t be a problem. If you have a long-standing or degenerative health condition, the panel may approve you to foster on a short term placement basis (under 2 years). Get in touch with our team to discuss this in more detail.

I have children already – is that a problem?

No! Having your own children is a great way to gain the skills and experience you need to become a foster parent. If your children are still at home their needs will be considered when we’re matching you with foster children and young people. Everyone in your household will play a part in making a difference to your foster children, helping them to feel valued. We organise regular events and activities throughout the year for the whole family to enjoy.

We have a pet dog – will we be allowed to foster?

Family pets can be an asset – providing a therapeutic impact on children and young people. However, every animal is different and your pets will be assessed as part of the process of fostering with Diagrama, taking into account their temperament and behaviour. Local authorities will not place a child with a household that has any breed of dog highlighted within the Dangerous Dogs Act.

If you’d like to know more about becoming a foster carer, you can download our Foster Care Information Pack with details about the process, the training, support and rewards.

Why Foster with Diagrama?

  • We’re part of a charity – Diagrama Fostering is part of Diagrama Foundation, a charity supporting vulnerable children, adults and families. We don’t make a profit from foster care - we make sure all our surplus funds go straight back into providing the best service possible.
  • We’re here for you – We strive to provide outstanding expert support for our amazing foster carers. This includes specialist education advice.
  • We value you – Our foster carers play a crucial role at the heart of our expert team. To recognise our appreciation for their dedicated work we offer a generous benefits package free training, 24/7 support, additional payments and holiday cover.
  • We believe in you – We invest heavily in the continual personal development of our foster carers by providing our regular expert training and appraisal programme to help you develop new skills.
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“Diagrama leaders, managers and staff advocate well for children and young people within the network of professionals.”
Ofsted 2019

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Making a difference is simple – just take the next step

This is your chance to become an inspiring role model that children in care desperately need. Taking the next step is simple:


  1. BOOK A CALL WITH OUR TEAM - You can book a call at a time that is convenient and works around you.
  2. FIND OUT ABOUT FOSTERING - Speak with our friendly support team and ask any questions you may have.
  3. KNOW WHETHER FOSTERING IS RIGHT FOR YOU – Feel confident you have honest, reliable and comprehensive information to understand whether fostering is the right pathway for you.


Thousands of children need a safe and secure home right now. With unprecedented demand for foster carers, this is your chance to make a difference and offer a better start in life.

Becoming a foster carer requires flexibility, commitment, patience and a willingness to learn new skills. Do you think you have what it takes to be a foster carer? Then we’d love to hear from you.

Contact Us

Thank you for your interest in Diagrama Fostering – we are in urgent need of new foster carers to meet rising demand of safe and secure homes for vulnerable children in need. Please complete the form and a member of our team will be in touch as soon as possible. We will also send your some information by email in relation to fostering.

Please note that by submitting this form we will ONLY contact you regarding your interest in Diagrama’s fostering service. We will not add you to our Diagrama Foundation general mailing list and we never share any details with third parties without your prior permission.