Who can foster?

Hackney needs to recruit a diverse range of foster carers to reflect our community and enable us to offer as much placement choice as possible to children and young people in our care. There's no such thing as a 'typical' foster carer; you just need to have space in your heart and your home to help us care for our most vulnerable children and young people. The qualities we look for are patience, energy and a genuine desire to work with children and ourselves to achieve the best possible outcomes.

Skills for fostering

You don't need any specific qualifications to become a foster carer, but you need to:

  • be able to talk openly and honestly
  • be flexible and non judgmental
  • work as part of a team
  • respond to difficult situations calmly and thoughtfully
  • enjoy spending time with children
  • be patient and understanding

Being a foster carer can make a real a difference in your community, and we will be there to support you.

The assessment process

We aim to complete our foster carer assessments within 6 months of receiving your application to foster.

Register your interest

The first step is to express an interest in fostering either completing the form below or calling 0800 0730 418.

Register your interest

After you've expressed an interest, you'll be invited to an information session where you can speak to social workers and some of our existing foster carers to gain a better insight into the role of foster carers. We will be able to confirm your eligibility.

If you then feel ready to start the process, a member of our team will visit you at home to undertake an initial assessment and offer further advice and information to help you and you your family decide if fostering is for you.


Can I foster if I'm single?

Yes, single people can foster, as well as those who are married, co-habiting or in a civil partnership.

Can I foster if I am gay or lesbian? 

Yes, your sexuality is not a barrier to fostering. We already have a number of same sex couple who foster very successfully.

Can I foster if I work full time?

Yes, so long as your employer is flexible enough to allow you to take time off for meetings, training and school holidays

Can I foster if I don't work? 

Yes, and we can offer advice as to how your fostering allowance will affect any state allowances or benefits you may receive.

Can I foster if I have children of my own? 

Yes, fostering can be a great experience for your children and can help to make children coming to live with you feel at home. Your whole family will be included in the assessment.

Can I foster if I have never been a parent?

Yes, we all have experience of living in a family, and we will support you in your caring role.

Can I foster if I don't own my home?

Yes, so long as you're financially secure, it doesn't matter whether you rent privately, through the Council or own your home.

Can I foster if I'm past retirement age?

Yes, we especially welcome applications from retired applicants who have experience of working with children. As long as you have the energy and are in good health to care for a child, we want to hear from you.

Can I foster if I'm overweight?

Yes, as long as you're healthy enough to look after a child, we want to hear from you.

Can I foster with Hackney if I live outside the borough?

Yes, but you will need to be able to easily travel to Hackney to attend our training and support groups. Please contact us to discuss. 

Can I foster if I have a criminal conviction?

It depends on the conviction. A Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) check will be made on all applicants. 

Can I foster if I don't have a spare bedroom?

You must have a bedroom for the child you're caring for.

Can I foster if I'm trying to get pregnant or become an adopter?

Being pregnant or going through the adoption process is a very anxious time. A child needs your full attention, so we don't think it's suitable for people going through this to foster.

Can I foster if I smoke?

Due to known health risks associated with smoking, Hackney has a no smoking policy for its foster carers.

Page updated: 28/07/2016 15:51:39