Each individual or family will bring something different to the role and there are only a few basic requirements to consider at the initial stages of your fostering journey. By far the most important thing to remember is children need understanding, patience and stability, so you will need to be empathetic, resilient and committed.

We require foster carers with a range of backgrounds, you can foster as a single person, a couple or a family with children. You must, however, understand that fostering affects your whole family and close friends. If you’re in a relationship, your partner must want to foster too. If you have children of your own, you must consider how they will feel sharing their home with another child.

For most types of fostering, having formal experience working with children is an advantage but not a necessity. There are lots of other experiences that count, including voluntary work with children, working with vulnerable adults or raising your own family. When fostering some of the most vulnerable and challenging young people, however, having a degree of experience working with children in a professional setting will be essential.