When is the right time to start fostering?

  • Fostering Stories

There is no ‘perfect’ time to start the fostering process. Life comes uncertainty and changes, but here are a few things you may want to consider when starting your fostering journey.

  • Do you have a spare room?  (this is essential for fostering children over the age of 2)
  • Do you have the time and flexibility in your life to care for a child?
  • If you work, does your role offer enough flexibility so you can be available for a child? - maybe your employer is Fostering Friendly!
  • Is your life in a stable position (financially, emotionally, health wise) so you can provide a stable home for a child? 

Read more from our guest foster carer blogger about their journey to fostering

Our birth children were 5 and 7. My job as a secondary school teacher was demanding but going well. My wife was a solicitor. We lived in a semi detached house with pebble dash and a compost heap. Perhaps we were in danger of becoming a little ordinary.

At first glance, the risks seemed to outweigh the benefits.

Would we have room in our house and hearts for an extra child?

How would our kids and wider family be affected? Would my wife and I still have time for each other?

We went along to an Information Event run by our Local Council.

We heard stories from a foster carer, a social worker and a young adult who had grown up in foster homes. Their stories had us in both tears and laughter.  We felt compelled to show compassion and take action.

Love is elastic. It expands to include anyone we want.

Our situation influenced me. Our own children had begun to go on sleepovers.

Our son, aged about 5, showed a bit of anxiety about spending a night at his best friend’s house.

I sought to reassure him.

My son knew where he was going, what he’d be having for tea, he knew where the toilet was, he was taking his own duvet and pillow, his own bag of Power Rangers and a bag of sweets. He knew the adults and the children in the house, and he knew his Dad would be picking him up in the morning.

And yet, still he was nervous.

I began to wonder. What would it be like for a five-year-old, or younger, or older, to be taken to a stranger’s house, and left there, perhaps forever?

I knew we could keep a child safe. We could provide food, a warm bed, and some sort of reassurance. I hoped we could make a child feel safe. This is the essence of fostering.

We rang the Council and applied to foster.

8 months later, we became approved foster carers.

Foster carer Phil with his daughter Anna

"Fostering is difficult, but the rewards outweigh the problems, and its value is unquantifiable. The right to time to consider fostering is probably right here and right now."


Could you provide a welcoming home?

It only takes around 6 months to become a foster carer, so this time next year, you could be welcoming a child into your home.

Find out more about fostering

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