We welcome foster carers from all walks of life. Our carers come from a variety of backgrounds and have different life experiences, skills and qualities which helps meet the needs of children and young people needing a foster home.  

All of our foster carers are different and each brings a unique set of strengths and skills to the role. We consider all of our applicants on an individual basis - whether you're single or a couple, straight or LGBTQ+, disabled, a homeowner or renting, or whatever your religious or cultural background is, we believe you can foster.

All you need is to:

  • be at least 21 years-old
  • have a spare bedroom big enough for a child or young person to live in
  • to be a full-time resident in the UK or have leave to remain
  • to be able to give the time to care for a child or young person

It’s also important that carers can offer a smoke-free environment.

People often rule themselves out of fostering because of the many myths surrounding fostering, such as 'I can't foster if I'm single' or 'I can't foster if I'm gay' or 'I can't foster if I don't have my own children'.

Check out our Fostering FAQ page to help dispel some of these myths.

I felt I had space in my heart and life for more children, and after talking to my family and most importantly, my son, I got in touch with Barnardo’s and have not regretted it since. I’ve done so many different things in my life, but foster caring is by far the best thing I’ve ever done.


Foster carer

Read more about Nichol’s story here​​​​​​

  • Foster carer Cathy Evans

    Fostering near me

    Our team of dedicated social workers will support you throughout the whole of your fostering journey. Our fostering services are placed right around the UK.

  • A young girl and a woman sit talking at a table

    Fostering stories

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

  • 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.