Who can foster?

We want our foster carers to reflect the diverse community of Wandsworth, and we welcome applications from individuals and families with different backgrounds and circumstances.

What matters most is your commitment and ability to look after a child or young person. We assess your suitability during our straightforward process.

There are lots of myths about who can and can’t foster, and our guidance covering common scenarios is here to help.

Relationships and sexuality

People often think that their marital status or sexual orientation means they can’t foster, but this is not necessarily the case.

Single people

You can foster as a single person, however it’s extremely helpful to have a support network. So, consider what help you have around you.

The LGBTQi community

Whether you’re single or in a same sex relationship, your sexuality will never stop you from fostering.


You need to be 25 years old to start fostering. There is no upper age limit - one of our current foster carers is 84!

Living arrangements

Foster carers can have all sorts of different living arrangements.

Home ownership

It doesn't matter whether you own or rent your house, you can foster either way.

Accommodation size

Each foster child will need their own bedroom, although babies and toddlers under the age of two years can sleep in the same bedroom as their main carer.

Living outside Wandsworth

You can foster with us if you live outside the borough. We do ask that our carers live no more than one hour from the child’s or teenager’s school.


It’s fine if you have dogs, cats or all sorts of other animals. They can be a fantastic addition to your foster family.

Working arrangements

When it comes to working and caring, there are a few things to bear in mind.

Full-time working

You can work, but there are restrictions. Single foster carers can do part-time flexible work. If you’re in a couple, we ask that at least one of you is a stay-at-home carer or a part-time, flexible worker who is available before and after school.


It’s not a problem whether you’re retired or semi-retired. Figures show that the majority of foster carers are over the age of 50.

Claiming benefits

You can foster if you are on benefits. We pay foster carers a weekly fee and allowance.

Other circumstances

Here are some other common topics that we get asked about.

Car ownership

You don’t need to have a driving licence or own a car to be a foster carer.


Other than the introductory training we provide, you don’t need any special qualifications.

Criminal record

We recognise there are many ways to get a criminal record and we look at applications and circumstances on an individual basis. All applicants have an enhanced DBS check which we pay for, and we get information from other relevant organisations too.

More information

We would always recommend that you contact us, as we can answer any questions you might have about your circumstances.

If you want to hear from people who have fostered with us, you can read our fostering experiences.