Fostering with South Tyneside Council

Who can foster

There is no such thing as a typical foster carer.

Foster carers can be:

  • single or married
  • unmarried couples
  • same sex couples
  • employed or unemployed, as long as you are financially stable
  • a home owner or living in rented accommodation
  • parents or without children

Foster carers are as different as the children they care for.

We want to help our foster carers be the best carers possible and to give South Tyneside's children the best start in life. 

If you have a criminal record or caution

Many people who have a criminal record, or who have been cautioned, can be considered as a foster carer.

It will depend on:

  • the seriousness of the offence
  • how long it's been since the crime was committed
  • how you have lived your life since

People with convictions for violent or sexual offences against children cannot foster.

What skills you need 

All you need are life skills and to be able to provide a safe and secure loving home.

Life skills are qualities you will already have developed through life experiences.

The assessment and training process will help identify and develop these qualities.

Find out more about the steps to becoming a foster carer.

How old you need to be

You must be over 25 to foster. This may be younger if you have a previous relationship with the child you are going to foster.

There is no particular upper age limit, but you must be able to care for, and meet the needs of a child or young person.

All applicants will have to do a medical assessment to show they are fit and healthy.

So don't rule yourself out before speaking to us.

Fostering when you have children of your own

You can still foster when you have children of your own.

Your children will be included in the approval process too, as they are so important in the family.

Fostering when you don't own your home

You need to show that you have enough room to care for a child or children in a safe environment, whether you rent or own your home.

If you work full time                 

You can still foster if you work full time.

What is important is that you have the space and time to meet a child's needs.

When not to foster

You will be advised not to complete an application if you have recently faced significant challenges within your family, such as:

  • newly formed partnerships or reconstituted families
  • serious illness
  • pregnancy
  • separation
  • bereavement 

Issues around historical or current legal proceedings (e.g. about offences or financial concerns), will be considered on an individual basis.