Could you foster a child with a disability?
There are many children in foster care who have disabilities or complex health needs and need specialist foster parents to provide them with the care and support they need to thrive.
While many children come into foster care due to abuse or neglect, there are children with disabilities whose parents are often committed and caring, however, they just reach a breaking point and need support, sometimes on a short-term basis, other times for a much longer period of time.
We need more foster parents with the skills and patience to work with children with disabilities, which might include managing their medications and care routine. In almost all cases, it also involves making sure the children and their birth parents maintain regular contact for continuity.
Extra training and support
Working with children with disabilities is a specialist area, and so we offer specialist support.
We have access to an entire network of professionals and our foster parent training also covers specialist areas, such as caring for a child with autism, giving you the skills you need to grow into your career.
Can you foster if you have a disability?
Having a disability isn’t necessarily a barrier to becoming a foster parent. Every individual is different and we’ll evaluate your application on its own merits. We’re also able to offer support to foster parents with disabilities, so please don’t be put off from applying.
Who can become a foster parent?
Almost anybody can apply to become a foster parent - the only initial requirements are that you're over 21 years old, you have the legal right to work in the UK and that you have a spare bedroom that's always available to a child in your care. Of course, you'll also need to be kind, caring and dedicated to making a difference to a child.
Other than that, we welcome applications from people from all backgrounds, religions and ethnic groups. You can be gay, straight, bisexual or transgender, single, married or cohabiting. We also support foster parents with disabilities and health conditions, who are able to meet the needs of children in care.
So if you've ever wondered whether you could foster - we can't encourage you enough to take the first step and speak to our friendly team.
How do you become a foster parent?
The first step is to have a chat with one of our friendly advisors - either complete our online form or give us a call on 0800 369 8512. We'll speak to you about the role, take a few details and answer any of your questions.
When you're ready to progress, there's a standard application and assessment process that you'll need to go through to become an approved foster parent, including home visits, background checks and references, training and attending a fostering panel. You can find out more about each step below.
How do local authorities place children with families?
When a child comes into foster care, the local authority becomes responsible for their health, safety and wellbeing, and while local authorities have their own 'pool' of foster parents, sadly they generally don't have enough to cope with the rising number of children needing a foster home. That's where specialist independent fostering agencies, like Fosterplus, come in.
We work with local authorities across England and Scotland, and receive hundreds of referrals every day. Our dedicated referrals team review each referral and identify any foster families who could meet the child's needs. If all parties agree - the foster parents, their Fosterplus social worker and regional manager, and the local authority - then we'll work closely with the local authority to make arrangements. Wherever possible, this will also include initial introductions between the child and family.
Other types of fostering
Caring for a child who's placed with another foster family to give them time to rest.
Parent & child
Giving a parent the crucial skills they need to care for their baby or young child.
Giving a child a stable, loving home when they can't return to their birth family.
In Scotland, a short-term placement is called Interim care and can last up to 2 years.
Caring for a child for more than 2 years and often up until they turn eighteen.
In Scotland, the local authority may apply for permanence if a child won't be returning home.
Welcoming a child at short notice who's often distressed - usually a night or two.
We urgently need more foster parents with the time, energy and space to care for siblings.
Could you support a young person in care through their crucial teenage years?
Caring for young people who have arrived in the UK without their parents to seek asylum.
Can't find what you're looking for?
One of our team is available to talk to you over the phone to answer any of your fostering queries.
You can get in touch by filling out our online enquiry form with any queries that you may have.
Your local team
Find contact details for your local office team. We’re always happy for you to pop-in and chat.