We are looking for people who:
- have a spare room
- are aged 21 or over (there is no upper age limit but you must be fit and healthy)
- have childcare experience (either professionally, personally or through voluntary work)
We would like to talk to everyone who feels they could meet the needs of Hampshire children.
Take a look at the questions we are frequently asked about fostering
Do I need a spare room
Yes, this is an essential requirement. In Hampshire we believe that looked after children who are fostered must have their own bedroom as we think it is important that they have their own space.
Do I need previous childcare experience
Yes, we are looking for foster carers who have childcare experience either as a parent or in a voluntary or professional capacity. However, our team can suggest organisations across Hampshire to gain some experience.
Am I too old or too young to foster
We consider anyone over the age of 21 and there is no upper age limit, but we do ask that you are generally fit and healthy. Each application is considered individually.
Can I foster if I work full time
Yes, however, parenting is a big commitment and we do ask that you have the flexibility to support a child or young person during the working week. A child in foster care will often have appointments and meetings during the week which foster carers need to attend. If you do work full-time and don't feel you could care for a child on a full-time basis, there are other types of fostering that might be right for you.
Can I foster if I am renting or in council housing
Yes, providing you have a spare room and the written permission of your landlord.
Can I foster if I am single
We welcome applications from single people and have a large number of single male and female foster carers in Hampshire.
Does it matter if I have an ongoing health condition
Not necessarily. We do ask that you are generally fit and healthy and you will be asked to have a medical examination with your GP as part of the fostering assessment. We do not discriminate against anyone who has general health issues or disabilities but we do need to know how this might impact on your parenting of a child and what extra support you might need.
Can I foster if I smoke or vape
If you smoke tobacco you will not be able to foster children aged under five or a child of any age with any health conditions or disabilities. You will also be expected to smoke outside and away from children. If you are trying to give up smoking we need you to be able to evidence that you have given up for 12 months if you wish to be considered for fostering children aged under five or a child of any age with any health conditions or disabilities.
What about e-cigarettes or vapour cigarettes
If you smoke you will not be able to foster children aged under five or a child of any age with any health conditions or disabilities. You will also be expected to smoke outside and away from children. If you are trying to give up smoking we need you to be able to evidence that you have given up for 12 months if you wish to be considered for fostering children aged under five or a child of any age with any health conditions or disabilities.
What if someone in the household has a criminal record
If you or a member of your household has had a criminal record it will not necessarily stop you from fostering. It depends on what the conviction was for and when the offence was committed, so please discuss this with us. We undertake a check with the Police (known as a Disclosure and Barring Service check) with all our applicants and all criminal records and cautions will be disclosed.
What if I have a debt
We will look at your financial situation during the assessment process as we have to be certain that your house is a stable environment and that you can meet any rent or mortgage payments.
Can I foster if I have my own children
Yes, lots of our foster carers have their own children and many looked after children really benefit from being in a family environment. All members of your household will be considered during the assessment and we will need to take into account the wishes and feelings of your child/children and ensure it is right for them too. We will always carefully consider your children when looking at which children to place in your home.
What about people having fertility treatment or counselling
We recognise that the process of fertility treatment can be an emotional rollercoaster and it takes time to adjust to the news about your fertility problems and the plans you had to start a family. If you have recently received fertility treatment or have experienced a miscarriage then we will discuss this with you and look at your individual circumstances to see if you are ready to start the fostering process.
Do I need to be able to drive
No, but as a foster carer you will be expected to attend lots of meetings, appointments and take children to and from school and contact. Therefore, you will need to consider how you would meet the travel requirements of the task.
Can I foster if I have pets
Yes, of course! We consider any pets you have as part of the assessment process.