Frequently asked questions about fostering

Something you want to ask about fostering a child through St Andrew’s Children’s Society? Check out our fostering FAQs.

If you can’t see an answer to your question in our selection of fostering FAQs please email or call 0131 454 3370. We’re always happy to hear from you.

Who can foster

Don’t rule yourself out if you have any health issues, physical or mental. Everyone is required to undergo a medical and our independent medical advisor determines who is fit to proceed in the fostering process. People are often surprised to learn that their health issues past or present do not necessarily prevent them from progressing in the fostering process. However, your health needs must be taken into account. 

Yes, we will guide you through the whole process. We will support you and offer you training tailored to you so that you can be the best foster carer possible to the child or young person in your care.

Yes, but their needs would be taken in account first.

Yes, we welcome fostering enquiries from single people.

Yes, you can foster as a couple if you are not married but you would need to have been co-habiting for at least two years.

Yes, we welcome fostering enquiries from the LGBTQ+ community.

People who have been convicted of a Schedule 1 or serious offence like a sexual or violent offence can’t foster. Please speak to our Duty Worker if you have a criminal conviction and they will be able to help you.

Yes, you can foster if you follow a faith but you would have to respect and promote the foster child’s and/or their birth family religion, if they follow one/or don’t.

Yes, you can foster if you don’t follow a faith but you would have to respect and promote the foster child’s and/or their birth family religion, if they follow one.

Yes, although some children may be unable to live with pets as a result of health conditions in which case, you may not be a suitable match for a particular child.

Yes, although the needs of your adopted child would need to be considered carefully in order to ensure this is the right time for your family. We would also want to make sure the right match is made whether this is a short term, long term or short break (also know as respite) foster care placement.

About fostering

Yes, however it is important that applicants think about what they may have to do differently in order to accomodate the needs of a child or children particularly with regard to issues of safety and personal space.

All children need safety and security from adults providing them with care and protection. There are many similarities when caring for a child in foster care but also some differences for example children who are placed in foster care are likely to have experieneced neglect and abuse. As a consequence, we offer applicants training to help them support and understand the child or children in their care as well as opportunities to develop their skills and knowledge on an ongoing basis.

Yes with the appropriate support of St Andrew’s Children’s Society and the placing Local authority. It would be beneficial to have experience in looking after children, although definitely not essential.

Types of fostering

We are looking for people who will foster on a short term, long term and short break (also know as respite) basis.

Please read our Types of foster carer page.

The fostering process

It takes on average 6 months to become an approved foster carer with us once your completed fostering application form has been received.

An applicant’s life experience is explored during the assessment process in order to ensure that they have the necessary skills to equip them to foster a child or children. Even difficult life experiences can be useful evidence of how you cope with adversity and come out the other end.

Fostering requirements

Yes depending upon the age of the child although it is helpful if an applicant has a degree of availability and/or a well established support network in order to deal with any issues which may arise for example issues with school/illness etc. Ideally it would be good if one carer in the household was at home.

You need to be 21 to foster through St Andrew’s Children’s Society.

No, you don’t need any qualifications. You will be given training and support tailored to you.

Yes, each child or young person would need their own bedroom. This room could not be used for anything else as well.

No, but you do need to be able to prove that where you live is long lasting and stable.

You cannot foster a child under the age of 5 if you vape. This is in line with National Policy.

You cannot foster a child under the age of 5 if you smoke. This is in line with National Policy.

There is no upper age limit to fostering although older foster carers may be more suited to fostering children aged 12+. We welcome fostering enquiries from older people as we feel that their life experiences may mean that they can deal with certain situations in an especially calm manner.

No, but there will be frequent meetings that you will need to attend concerning the child or young person in your care and you would need to be able to get to those meetings.

No, though you do need to be securely domiciled in the UK.

Fostering support available

We will offer you support every step of the way along your fostering journey with us. You will be assigned a foster care social worker who will work closely with you and support you. We also run support groups for foster carers.

All our foster carers receive free membership to The Fostering Network.

Fostering fees and allowances

Transferring from another foster agency or a local authority

What I like about being adopted is ……… having all my friends at school and such an amazing family and all the fun and adventures we have like chilling, cycling, judo and simply being together with my family :-).