Who can foster?

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Do I have to be married?

No. It doesn't matter if you are married, divorced, single or cohabiting. What does matter are the skills and qualities you can offer a child or young person in placement. If you are in a partnership we do expect both of you to be present when we visit and both of you would be involved in the assessment process and attend the training.

Does it matter if I am lesbian or gay?

No. Lesbian and gay couples or single lesbian and gay men - Trafford is committed to equal opportunities and interested in the skills and care you have to offer, not your sexuality.

Do I have to have children of my own?

No. You do need to enjoy being with children and have an understanding of their development and needs.  Fostering is a job for the whole family so if you do have children or young people of your own they would also be involved in the assessment process.

Can I foster if I am unemployed?

Yes. You just need to have the time and space to make a difference in children and young people's lives.

Can I foster if I work full-time?

Yes. We need foster carers for older teenagers who could be placed with families who work full-time. Also, our home from home scheme needs foster carers who can offer planned short breaks to children with disabilities and their families. We also offer short breaks to our full time foster carers who request a weekend or holiday break.

Am I too old to foster?

In Trafford we do not have an upper age limit for our foster carers; your life experience is viewed positively. You do need to be relatively fit and healthy in order to meet the needs of children and young people in a safe way.

What if I have a criminal record?

This would not necessarily exclude you from fostering - the seriousness of the crime, how long ago it happened and how you have lived your life since will be taken into consideration. People with convictions for offences against children cannot foster. We would ask that you discuss any criminal convictions or cautions with the Supervising Social Worker at your initial visit.

What to do next?

If you are interested in finding out more about the adventure of fostering and think you can help us make a difference, please request an information pack or contact Trafford's Fostering Service fostering@trafford.gov.uk or call us on 0161 912 3558. You can also come along to one of our Fostering Information Events  where you can chat to our friendly team and ask any questions you may have about the different fostering schemes in Trafford.