YOU can foster!

If you live in or near Reading, have at least one spare room in your home and you are able to give time to a child or young person, we would love to hear from you. Your age, gender, sexuality, relationship status, wealth or job do not matter. We’re looking for people with the right skills and attitude.

A lesbian couple sitting on steps outside house with boy

Busting the myths

There is no ‘typical’ foster carer. We welcome people from all backgrounds and strive to have a diverse fostering community in Reading. It doesn’t matter about your age, gender, race, sexuality, living arrangements or employment status. We want to hear from you!

You do need to:
  • be over 21
  • have a spare room
  • be a UK resident
  • live within 20 miles of Reading
It doesn’t matter:
  • if you’re single or in a relationship
  • if you rent or own your home
  • if you have a disability
  • if you have children or not
  • if you do or don’t work
  • what your ethnic identity is
  • if you identify as LGBTQ+

If you’re still not sure whether you will be able to foster, take our quick myth-busting quiz!

Take the fostering quiz

"Childrens culture and identity are promoted."

“Committed and proactive foster carers support children of all faiths to attend religious celebrations and regular gatherings. Birth families’ views are respected and considered when making plans. As a result of this, children’s religious and cultural needs are met”

Ofsted Inspection, January 2022

Who are our children looking for?

Our children and young people know best when it comes to what makes a great foster carer! They met with us to tell us that a good foster carer:

  • is kind
  • understands our emotions
  • is there when we need them
  • gives us advice
  • treats us like one of their own
  • is devoted
  • gives us food

We are looking for someone who is patient, flexible, understanding, determined and keen to learn. There will be times when you’ll need to be resilient, tolerant and considerate and where you will need to stay positive. We also want someone who enjoys being around children and having fun!

What about my family?

Offering a home to a child is not something you can do in isolation – it will affect everyone living in your home, your friends, your family and lifestyle. Here are some things to think about:

If you are in a relationship then you must consider your partner’s wishes. Both of you will be foster carers and so you need to be equally committed to the task. Is this something that both of you want?

If you have a child living with you at home, then having another child in the house will change things for them. You will need to explain:

  • That a foster child is not just a playmate for them
  • That your life will be different at home and they will have to share your time, their toys and space
  • That the child will need support from the whole family but that you will still make ‘special’ time for them.

When I did ask my daughters, they were all for it and it turned out to be one of the best things I have ever done - for them as well as myself.

What experience do I need to have?

If you choose to apply to become a foster carer, you will then go through an assessment process which can take six months. During this process we will be looking at the qualities and experience that you already have and we will help you develop any additional skills and knowledge. These include:

  • Caring skills
  • Providing a safe and caring environment
  • Working as part of a team
  • Developing yourself
  • Maintaining support networks.

If you have not had any experience of looking after children then we would recommend that you do some volunteering within the childcare sector.

Real fostering stories