Who can become a Foster Carer?

Anyone over the age of 25, and with a spare room, is eligible to apply. You can be single or in a couple, have children or not, and we welcome all ethnic backgrounds and LGBT couples or single people. You can own your home or rent (in which case you may need permission from the owner of the property).

Why do I need a spare room if my children are happy to share?

Due to the background and experiences of many foster children, they need a place there they can feel safe. Having their own room is essential to creating that safe space.

Am I allowed pets?

Most pets are not a hindrance to the fostering process, although some animals and breeds of dog might be considered dangerous. To check if your pet is on the list of prohibited breeds, please contact us.

What type of support will I receive?

We provide training for all approved Foster Carers as well as out-of-office hours support; regular, local Foster Care Support Groups; a “buddy” scheme for new Foster Carers and additional support from other child care professionals when required.

What are the payments and allowances?

Foster carers are entitled to a fee and maintenance allowance, dependent on the age and needs of the child, to support in looking after them. Having “self-employed” status, it is the responsibility of foster carers to manage their own tax returns. Fostering Network are able to offer more information and support and guidance with regards to managing tax returns.

Do I need to give up work?

In many situations, at least one Foster Carer needs to be available at all times to meet the needs of a foster child. This could include attending meetings or transporting the child to appointments.

How long will the application process take?

The assessment process typically takes up to six months and if you wish to withdraw at any time, you are entitled to do so.

How many children can I foster?

Regulations state that Foster Carers can foster up to three unrelated children, with the exception being emergency placements and sibling groups. The number and age range of children you may be able to foster will be discussed during assessment and approval.

Which checks will be carried out during the assessment process?

  • Disclosure Scotland ( for convictions and offences)

  • Local Authority Social Work Department

  • A full medical report

  • Employment checks

  • Education checks (if you have children)

  • Three independent references, including one from a family member

Why are the regulations so strict when there are so many children who need a loving home?

The welfare of children and young people is priority. Many children coming into foster care have experience of unstable and violent backgrounds, and we have to ensure that we find them the safest possible home, where they can have positive experiences.

Who makes the final decision, and what if I disagree?

The Care Visions Fostering Scotland Agency Decision Maker has the final say on approval of Foster Carers, after considering the recommendation of the independent Fostering Panel. You will receive a copy of the report, and reasons for decision, and if you disagree or want to appeal, your Social Worker will inform you of the procedure.