0208 200 2353

We Need You! –

Help make a positive change to a child’s life by fostering

  • It’s a Hugely Rewarding Career
  • There’s a Big Demand for Foster Carers
  • We Provide all the Training you Need
  • You’ll get Extensive Support and Guidance
  • We Pay Generous Allowances and Fees
  • We have Short and Long Term Placements
  • Babies, Children and Teenagers Ages 0 to 18
foster parent in UK

Criteria for people who can apply to become foster carers with Horizon Fostering Services

Help make a positive change to a child’s life by fostering

There is no upper age limit though good physical stamina is a requirement
In and around the M25 – Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Luton, Cambridge, and Essex
No educational background needed to become a foster carer
Men and women, either married or single, can foster
All sexual orientations can foster
All ethnic backgrounds accepted
All religious views accepted
All family members above 18 years living in the fostering household must undergo DBS Checks. Any sexual or violent crimes against children or vulnerable adults are likely to disqualify someone from becoming a foster carer
You need the energy, patience, and resilience to cope with fostering challenges
Horizon Fostering Services has zero tolerance for discriminatory attitudes
If you have children in the fostering household, they must be agreeable to fostering
Have an established network to support your fostering needs
The home should have a safe and hazard-free environment for a foster child
Birth children over 8 years of different gender should not share a bedroom
Cook meals, wash clothes, drop and pick from school, attend meetings, help with homework, etc.
Fostering allowance should not be relied upon as income
Looking to transfer to a new agency
To complete placement records and email
Training and supervision of therapeutic care for the benefit of a child
Attend all meetings in your network to keep up with existing and new legislation and policy
Be available for regular supervision
The fostered child is expected to be part of a loving family.

Updated May 31st

Criteria for people who can apply to become foster carers with Horizon Fostering Services

Help make a positive change to a child’s life by fostering

  • A UK resident or with indefinite leave to remain in the UK.
  • Aged 21 years (with relevant experience such as working in a nursery, school, support, care worker, youth worker) – there is no upper age limit, however applicants must have good physical stamina.
  • Geographical location – Inner and outer London (in and around the M25 – Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Luton, Cambridge and Essex).
  • No educational qualifications required.
  • Couples or single people of any gender.
  • Any sexual orientation.
  • Any ethnicity.
  • Any religion.
  • Be willing to have a Disclosure and Barring Service check completed on all family members aged 18 and over who live in the fostering household. Any sexual or violent crimes against children or vulnerable adults are likely to disqualify someone from becoming foster carer.
  • Be in good physical and mental health, have the energy, patience and resilience to work with fostering challenges.
  • If in a relationship, the relationship should be a minimum of 2 years cohabiting or married.
  • A willingness to work with all forms of diversity including an understanding of LGBTQ. Horizon Fostering Services has zero tolerance to discriminatory attitudes.
  • It must be the right time for you and dependent children. Children in the household must be agreeable to fostering.
  • A strong established support network of family and friends who can support you with fostering.
  • Live in rented accommodation (with landlord consent to fostering in the home) or own their own home. Your home should be in a good state of repair and offer a safe and hazard free environment for a fostered child.
  • Must have a have spare bedroom for fostering – birth children over 8 years of different gender should not share a bedroom.
  • Have the availability meet children’s needs; cook meals, wash a child’s clothes and support with personal care where appropriate, take children to school and collect from school, help with homework, to take children to supervised contact, attend meetings, etc.
  • Household finance should be stable as placements are not guaranteed, the fostering allowance cannot be relied upon as income.
  • Be an approved foster carer looking to transfer to a new agency.
  • Full driving licence and use of own car, willing to learn to drive or has a nominated driver in the household.
  • Able to use own computer, laptop or tablet to complete placement records and email.
  • Willing to learn about therapeutic care and what is in the best interest of a child through training and supervision.
  • All foster carers must be able to attend core and development training proposed by the agency, this includes joint carers. We expect you to attend network meetings for your personal development and to keep abreast with legislative and policy changes as well as the agency’s development. Supervision is mandatory and with joint couples the carer supporting is expected to make themselves available for supervision periodically.
  • Provide a nurturing family environment, where a fostered child experience being a part of a loving family.

Updated May 31st

Start Your Fostering Career with Horizon


Thinking of Fostering?

Support for Carers

Foster Carer Requirements

Carer Feedback

At Horizon we are acutely aware that without you we would not exist, without you we could not offer the range and level of support we do to fostered children.

You can make a huge difference to a child’s or young person’s life; you can help them to make positive changes to their lives and at the same time enhance your own.

We recognise once you become a foster carer, you will make changes to the way you live your life.

There are myths about fostering that we can clarify. We know there are individuals who would like to apply to foster and have much to offer children in need of affection, security and stability.

Fostering can at times be challenging while hugely rewarding, not just in terms of what you give but also what you give back.

Therapeutic Parenting

Therapeutic parents are not therapists. Caring for children who have who have experiences of trauma and attachment difficulties is a tough job; however, therapeutic parenting is a way to parent children, differently. Foster carers need to be willing to learn about therapeutic care and what is in the best interest of a child through training and supervision.

Whether or not you feel qualified, get in touch with us today about your desire to become a foster carer who is therapeutic in their parenting. We assure you that it will be a fulfilling life moment to shape the lives of vulnerable children.
Roles of a Foster Carer

Why do you wish to work with children or young people?

Engaging with children and teenagers as a foster carer might be for a variety of reasons:

    To provide youngsters with the opportunity to be a member of a family atmosphere.
    Desire to make a major difference in the child's life
    Assisting families in reuniting
    Providing greater care and assistance to the community through helping people

Can you interact with youngsters, nourish them, and involve them as members of your own family?

Absolutely, you must be willing to facilitate the youngsters and understand the methods of communication with them. You must be supportive and caring for them and welcome the fostering child into your home.

Would you perform as part of a group and continue to train and learn in order to improve your abilities?

Sure, you will need to be interested in collaborating with us and become a part of a group to improve the fostering process. You must be ready to be involved in the fostering agencies' training programs to learn and develop your abilities.

Are You Ready to Start?

Let’s take you through the steps to start fostering a child here in the UK.

Step 1: Contact us today

The first basic step is to express your formal interest in fostering a child by contacting us. You can always reach us online via email or a simple phone call. You can find our contact details here.

When you contact us, we will share details about fostering and have all your basic questions answered on the spot.

Step 2: Initial information and home visit

We will then organise an initial information session that helps you understand the basics of fostering. This will be followed by a short home visit to explain the various fostering options that we have.

It should take about 2-3 hours for the home visit to be complete. This meeting is important because it sheds more light on the various fostering options and helps you determine which one is better for you.

Step 3: Skill to Foster Training

We will then offer a 3-day training session that equips you with formal knowledge about fostering. The curriculum of this training is designed by the UK government though we adapt it to meet your specific learning goals.

Is this training mandatory?

Yes, this training session is mandatory for you to be licensed as a foster carer in the UK. Reading more about the skill to foster training to know the modules offered in our training.

Step 4: Form F Assessment

The Form F Assessment is a continuous assessment that is spread over 4-6 months to evaluate your suitability to become a foster carer in the UK.

During the assessment, you will be assigned a social worker who will regularly keep in touch with you to evaluate your readiness. Frequent home visits will be organised to interview family members and your referees.

After the completion of the evaluation, our social worker will either recommend your application or inform you of the next steps if you are not qualified at the moment.

Step 5: Panel interview

After you are recommended by a social worker, you will meet our friendly panel to discuss your readiness to become a foster carer.

Is it a complex interview?

It is not a complex interview; you will only be asked a few questions about your readiness for fostering.

We can always guide you prior to meeting the panel; however, we are confident that your application will be recommended by the panel after the short meeting.

If you are approved by the panel, you will become an eligible foster carer in the UK.

Step 6: Matching you with a child

The final step after your approval is to be matched with the right child. During the Form F Assessment, the social worker must have done extensive background research about you considering your interests, and recorded ideal specifications for a child that you can foster.

Do you have a say about the child that you will foster?

You have a say about the kind of child that you can foster. However, you cannot choose a child from a pool of children.

We will only use specifications that you have provided and those that our social worker recommends as ideal for your fostering case.

For example, if you prefer to foster a teenager, you cannot be matched with a 2-year-old baby. You will only be matched with a teenager.

If you have further questions about the application process, you can read our article about the process of becoming a foster carer.

Fostering with Debt

Where Can I Start the Application?

You can visit our offices at 468 Church Lane, Kingsbury, London NW9 8UA, or call or email us directly through our dedicated lines and email for foster carers recruitment. Our contact details are available here:

You can also fill in your details in this form and our social worker will get back to you with further information about your application to become a foster carer.

What Questions Are Asked?

There will be two sets of questions that will be asked i.e. questions about your eligibility and questions about your personality.

Questions about your eligibility & personality?

  • Do you own the property that you live in?
  • Do you have a spare bedroom that a foster child can call his/hers?
  • Who are you living with?
  • Do you have children who don’t live with you?
  • How many people are living in your house?
  • Do you have pets?
  • Do you have medical issues?
  • Has anyone in your family been a foster carer before?
  • Who are your referees?

Questions about your personality

  • What kind of a person do you consider yourself to be?
  • What are your views about religion?
  • What is your cultural background?
  • Can you care for a child of a different race, cultural background, or religion than yours?
  • What are your standards of living?
  • What are your hobbies?
  • What skills do you have that are relevant to fostering?

How to answer these questions?

You should be honest when answering these questions. There is no right or wrong answer to any of these questions. If you want to know why these questions are asked, please read our blog about

How Long Does It Take to Start Fostering?

It can take about 4-8 months to become a foster carer.

However, this time is somewhat flexible depending on the assessments conducted. Furthermore, once you are certified as a foster carer, it could take from a few days to months to be matched with the right foster child.

If you are already a foster carer certified by a different foster agency, your assessment period will be reduced. You can apply for a transfer to become a foster carer under our agency.

What If I Had a Criminal Record?

The nature of your criminal record will determine if you can become a foster carer or not.

You can foster with a criminal record if your previous crime is not related to safeguarding. Our social workers will help you assess the nature of your criminal record.

Types of criminal offences that bar you from fostering

  • Any offence against children
  • Violent crimes
  • Sexual offences

You can read our blog page about fostering with a criminal record to understand the possibility of fostering with a  criminal record.

Can I Foster as a Single?

Yes, you can foster even if you are not married. You can also foster if you are a single parent or previously divorced.

The basic requirements of fostering are mainly about age (at least 21 years) and the ability to care for a foster child. Your marital status is not a concern. It can only become a concern if it affects your fostering abilities.

Can I Foster if I Am Old?

You can foster even if you are old.

Neither we nor the UK government has set an age limit for fostering children in the UK. However, you should be fit enough to care for the children that you are fostering.

During the assessment, our social worker will evaluate your fitness and recommend the age group that you can best foster. Of course, personal preference will also be a factor of consideration during the assessments.

Can I Foster if I am in Bad Health?

One of the questions that you will be asked before fostering is about your health status.

Whilst our agency doesn’t discriminate based on health, we also ensure that your health condition is good enough to cater to the needs of the child that you are caring for.

The primary concern is about your fitness to care for a child. If your health does not interfere with it, then you cannot be denied a chance to foster a child.

How will Fostering Affect My Life?

Fostering will change your perception of life in different ways.

Learn empathy and compassion

Together with your family, you will learn the importance of empathy and compassion in life. You will get this enriching life skill that will help you understand life in an enriching manner.

Learn new skills from foster children

You will be surprised at how much you can learn from a foster child. For example, if you are fostering a teenager, you might learn some valuable tech skills.

Heightened satisfaction

The highest level of satisfaction is to offer service to humanity. Fostering allows you to extend a helping hand to the needy, giving you the satisfaction of helping the human race.

Remember, fostering also comes with a load of responsibilities. Therefore, expect to accommodate a new person in your life. It also means that you will have to sacrifice your time to spend with the foster child.

Participate in meetings and work as part of a team.

You are not alone in caring for a foster child if you are a foster caregiver. You will work as part of a team with the fostering agency. You should attend meetings in a responsible manner and seek direction from the organization from period to period and from situation to circumstance.

Common Fostering Challenges to Expect and Solutions!

As mentioned, fostering, just like normal parenting, has its share of challenges. Here are some common challenges that most foster carers experience.

Adjusting to a new situation

Fostering will be a new situation that you will have to adapt to if you are doing it for the first time. It is something that can be overwhelming if you are caring for a child with behavioural issues.

Luckily, we have social workers on standby to help you through this initial stage.

Interaction with birth family

You will need to allow the child to interact with the birth family as advised by the social worker. In the beginning, it seems a lot for foster carers because they don’t know how to handle birth families.

Challenging behaviour

Some children are put into foster care because of their behaviour. You will be let know in advance if a child has challenging behaviour. You will also be given a raft of measures to handle challenging behaviour.

Prospect of reunification

You might create a bond with the foster child to an extent that you feel bad at the prospect of the child reunifying with his/her birth family.

Always remember that you are only caring for the child and their wellbeing is the primary concern. Reunification with their family is a good step that you should be prepared to handle.

We understand how challenging it can be to foster for the first time. This is why we don’t want you to do it alone; let our social worker help you handle any emerging issue that may arise during your fostering period.

Reasons to Foster with Horizon

Choosing to foster with Horizon has the following benefits:

  • We pay generous allowances and fees
  • We offer free training that you need to become a foster carer
  • We offer continuous support and guidance
  • We have a range of fostering options for babies, children, and teenagers ranging from 0-18 years
  • We offer both short and long-term placements

We are committed to the cause of fostering thus, working with us makes this a shared vision. It is a vision that we can actualise together.

Do You Have More Questions?

Have you checked our FAQs page to see some of the questions that other foster carers have about fostering?

If you still can’t find an answer to your question, please contact us and we will be delighted to answer your question.

Thinking of fostering?

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