Do I need a spare room if I want to foster?

Yes, you will need to have a spare room to foster.

Will a police record stop me from fostering?

Not necessarily. The law states that the only criminal convictions that prevent people from fostering are those that relate to an offence against children or a sexual offence. Minor offences should not count against you in your application to foster. All criminal convictions will need to be disclosed when you first apply to foster as the application process to become a foster carer includes an enhanced criminal record bureau check.

Can single people foster?

Yes. Anyone can apply to foster regardless of whether they are single, married or living with a partner.

How long does the application process take?

When you apply to foster, you will be assigned a social worker who will support you throughout the process and carry out a thorough assessment. During this time you will be provided with training known as ‘pre-approval’ training’ by the Ascent training team.

The social worker will present a report to a fostering panel who will make a recommendation to the fostering service whether you are suitable to foster. The assessment, training and approval process should take around takes around three to four months.

Is there a maximum or minimum age to becoming a foster carer?

There is no legal minimum age to become a foster carer although like most fostering services, to foster with Ascent you need to be over the age of 21. This is because it’s important that foster carers have sufficient life experience to enable them to meet the needs of children placed with them, and age can be a factor in this.

There is also no official upper age limit on foster care and many older people make excellent carers, providing they are able to look after a child or young person. They bring a wealth of skills and experience to the task and many young people find it easier to relate to an older person.

Do you need specific qualifications to foster?

No. Once approved foster carers are supported to achieve the Children’s Workforce Development Council’s (CWDC) Training, Support and Development Standards for Foster Care. Information about these standards is available on the CWDC’s website at

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