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Who can foster

Fostering enquiry

Register your interest in becoming a foster carer.

Do you have what it takes to be a foster carer?

These are some of the qualities we're looking for:

  • down-to-earth attitude; you take things in your stride and find solutions to problems
  • patience; building trusting relationships with children takes time
  • good humour; children are fun and need you to help them learn to be a child
  • confidence; to be a good role model for children
  • good listener; being able to listen and respond appropriately will make a big difference
  • commitment; fostering needs a commitment to the children and to your own learning and development
  • nurturing; to be able to nurture confidence in others
  • good communicator; to be able to share information sensitively and keep in touch with others to make a difference to a child's life
  • open-minded; things change and you need to be able to work with this
  • work as part of a team around the child

Fostering eligibility

We welcome carers of any background and circumstance. You can foster:

  • if you're over 21, although there's no upper age limit and we review each person in terms of health, lifestyle and support networks
  • if you have a spare bedroom
  • if you have your own children, or have never had children
  • if you're single, married or have a partner
  • if you're claiming benefits or in work 
  • regardless of your cultural background or sexual orientation
  • if you live in rented housing or own your own home
  • beyond retirement, as long as you can keep up with children

We would like to hear from you. 

You can still foster if you:

  • have English as your second language
  • are a smoker:
    • smoking doesn't prevent you from fostering, but you can't foster children under 6 years old
    • living in a household with smoke is an increased health risk and we wouldn't want foster carers to smoke in their home, or in front of children
    • we would encourage you to give up and we can help with advice to do that

Already a registered foster carer?

If you're already a registered foster carer for another local authority or independent fostering agency and you're thinking of transferring to Dorset County Council, we'd be delighted to hear from you.

The transition is straightforward and we can fast-track you through it; you'll soon be fostering local children. 

Contact us on 01305 225568 and tell us you're already approved to foster.