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Requirements and Support

Can I be a Foster Carer?

Foster carers can be all sorts of people from all sorts of backgrounds, ethnicities, religions, careers and lifestyles.

Some people are more suited for foster care than others but there is no such thing as a ‘typical’ foster carer - we are all different, just like the children we care for.

It matters most to the children who need caring people to provide them with a family home where they will be safe and looked after.

Red Kite Fostering is an equal opportunities agency that welcomes a diverse range of foster families. Whatever your gender, race, religion, marital status, sexual orientation, age or disability, as long as you are fit, healthy and willing to care for a foster child we will consider you to foster with us.

Requirements to be a Foster Carer

There are some necessary requirements and preferable qualities that you will need to become a foster carer.

Foster carers often specialise in caring for children of a particular age. For example, some will foster babies or very young children, others look after primary school-aged children, or prefer to offer a home to teenagers. This may be due to previous experience, your own family situation, or your work schedule.


We aim to place children with foster families that are suited to their needs, however, you are under no obligation to accept a placement that you do not find suitable with reason.

Foster carers can choose to look after up to three children at once, unless exceptions are made or where there are a bigger group of brothers and sisters.
If you have your own children, we will consider the number of your children and their ages and advise on the fostered children you can look after.

Basic Requirements

Aged 26 and over

A spare bedroom that is suitable and comfortable

A safe and stable home

A genuine interest in the care, growth and needs of a foster child

Good health; you will need to be physically able to look after a child or young person

We Recommend

Patience and understanding

A good sense of humour

A willingness to learn

Good organisation and communication skills

Experience looking after children

Do Foster Carers Get Paid?

As a foster carer, you will be paid for the job that you do - the amount you receive can vary.

Payments to carers are made up of two elements: a weekly fostering allowance and a weekly professional fee. The combined amount of fees and allowances can vary between £400 and £750 per child per week.


All foster carers receive a fostering allowance to cover the cost of food, clothes, toiletries and all other expenses incurred in looking after a fostered child. Allowances are set at a national level and are arranged in bands according to the age and needs of a child.

Fee payments are made on top of allowances to recognise a foster carers’ time, skills and experience. More experienced foster carers will typically receive a higher fee. Foster carers will receive payment only when they have a child in placement.

Foster carers are classed as self-employed for tax and national insurance purposes, so you would need to register with HMRC. You may also be able to claim a range of benefits - these options will be discussed with you during the assessment. The Government website and The Fostering Network also offer additional information on fees, allowances and benefits.

Please note that fees and allowances should be considered separate from each other - allowances should be spent on caring and providing for a child in placement, and fees are for the role the foster carer carries out.

Support for Foster Carers

Aside from fees and allowances, you will receive training and a range of contacts and resources to support you in any way you need.

Once a child or young person is placed with you, you won’t be left to manage alone; you’ll be part of a friendly and professional team that is dedicated to helping you and changing the lives of young people for the better.

Allocated training

24/7 on-call support worker

Supervising social worker

Family support worker

Contacts and links to external support teams

All of us at Red Kite

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