COVID-19 statement

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak we are not holding events or undertaking visits we are however still very keen to speak with you and are able to answer questions by phone or email. Please do therefore complete the online – enquiry form (above) and we will get back to you. We can also offer lots of information that we normally give at our fostering information events.

Thinking about fostering? 

Help transform a life.

You could give a home to a vulnerable child when they need it most. It’s about giving them a safe, secure place to live for a few weeks, months or even years. 

This is a really important role that can get a child through a difficult time. Your love and support can make a huge difference to their life – and to yours. And you won't be alone: we will give you all the specialist support you need.

Foster carer and young person talking on bench

We believe you can foster

We welcome foster carers from all walks of life. Whether you’re single or married, male or female, a homeowner or renting, straight, lesbian, gay, trans or bisexual – it doesn't matter.

You only need to be 21 or over, have a spare bedroom, plus the time and commitment to care for a child or young person. It’s also important that carers can offer a smoke-free environment.

We'll support you every step of the way

We understand foster carers’ needs. We’ve been placing children with families for over 100 years – that’s longer than any other UK agency. 

We're also the UK’s largest independent not-for-profit fostering agency. That means we have the resources and expertise to support you whenever you need our help.

This includes:

  • your own dedicated social worker
  • a 24-hour helpline connecting you with our team of specialist social workers
  • free certified training
  • supportive short breaks
  • membership of fostering support groups local to your area
Listen to foster carer Christine talk about the support she gets from Barnardo's

Watch more videos about fostering with Barnardo's.

The first step – get in touch

Due to the COVID 19 outbreak we are not holding events or undertaking visits we are however still very keen to speak with you and are able to answer questions by phone or email. Please do therefore complete the online – enquiry form (above) and we will get back to you. We can also offer lots of information that we normally give at our fostering information events.

If you’re interested in fostering with us, the first thing to do is fill in our online enquiry form. A member of our team will call you back to talk you through the fostering process, and set up a meeting. Alternatively, you can call us on 0800 0277 280 - our phone lines are open from Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm.

Fostering fee

You'll get generous financial support, including a taxable income as well as a weekly allowance to help with the cost of looking after a child.

Foster carers have a tax exemption of up to £10,000 per year, so you don’t have to pay tax on the first £10,000 you make from fostering.

On top of that, you also get tax relief for every week that a child is in your care. You can find more information about allowance and tax on the GOV.UK website

Fostering resources

  • Young person with toddler

    Children in care

    All kinds of children need loving foster carers, and we have a focus on matching children who may need extra care and support from a foster family. 

  • Young boy laughing in a park playground

    Types of foster care

    There are many different kinds of foster care, specific to each child's situation. Find out more about the many ways you can provide care for a child who needs your help.

  • Young person with Barnardo's worker with paperwork

    Support we offer

    We believe in each and every one of our foster carers, and we are committed to helping you make a huge difference in a child's life.

  • Two women sitting at table drinking tea

    Fostering stories

    Our foster carers talk about their experience of fostering with Barnardo's in a selection of written accounts and videos.

  • Young boy smiling in front of fence

    Fostering FAQ 

    Potential foster carers often have a number of questions about who can foster and what to expect, so we've busted some myths about the requirements of fostering with us.​​​ 

  • Girl with blonde hair standing in front of trees

    Become a foster carer

    The first step towards joining the Barnardo's family is getting in touch. Complete our online form or find details about alternative contact methods here.