Tuesday 19th June 2018
Welcome to Luton.gov.uk
A-Z of services
Text size
A A A
Group of children

 This could be the start of something wonderful...

What is fostering?

Fostering is where you provide a short- or long-term home for a child in need.

Foster carers look after children until they can go back to their family or a new, permanent home. This could be overnight, or for a number of years - until they are at least 21 years old.

As well as personal support and training, foster carers also receive financial support in the form of an allowance.

Can I foster?

Fostering could be for you whatever your age, ethnicity or personal circumstances.

We'd love to hear from you if you:

  • are aged 21 or over - there is no upper age limit
  • are single, married or in a civil partnership
  • have children of your own or not
  • rent or own your home
  • have a spare bedroom
  • have the time, energy and strength of character to foster.

Essentially, we look for people where we can be confident that children placed in their care will be safe and well looked after.

There are some reasons why fostering may not be right for you. You can read more about this in our information pack, but if you are unsure, please don’t rule yourself out.

If you think there is any reason you might not be considered, please get in touch on 01582 547569 to find out for sure. We’d love to hear from you.

Download fostering pack
Get in touch

Brothers whispering to each other
Our friends didn't think we could foster as we are a same-sex couple. Luton’s fostering team have supported us from the very first call we made.

Children needing a foster home

Woman and girl foster child

Children come into the care system for many different reasons.

Children needing a foster home:

  • are 0 to 18 years old
  • are from a range of different ethnicities and faith backgrounds
  • may need a home for just a few nights, or a number of weeks, months, or years
  • usually need to be fostered with their brothers and sisters
  • may have medical needs or a disability

Download fostering pack
Get in touch

The fostering process

The process is quicker than you think.

You can become an approved foster carer within 6 months.

  1. Initial enquiry

    At your pace

    • Complete our initial enquiry form and we will get in touch with you as soon as possible for an informal chat. (If you have questions you want to ask before applying, you may want to get in touch first.)

    Although we want you to be as sure as possible before you apply that foster caring is right for you, we’d like to reassure you that filling in the form doesn’t commit you to anything.

    There is no pressure and no obligation, just your questions answered.

  2. Initial home visit and checks

    Initial visit within 2 weeks; checks within 2 months

    • We explore the foster carer role and you have the chance to ask as many questions as you like
    • We check to make sure your home has enough space and is safe for a child
    • We will also carry out background checks, including criminal history, and health checks with your GP
  3. Assessment, training and approval

    6 to 8 months

    • The assessment involves your social worker getting to know you and your family over a number of visits to your home
    • You also receive training that will give you the foundation skills you need on your foster carer journey
    • We will invite you to attend a fostering panel - a group of professionals who are experts in the needs of looked-after children
    • The panel will decide whether to recommend your appointment as a foster carer. It might sound daunting but your social worker will be with you throughout the process
  1. Matching you with suitable children

    There is no fixed time period as it depends on finding the right match. If we have a child/children in mind, this stage could be quite short.

    • Once the panel approves the proposed match, you will be assigned a supervising social worker
    • We start working to find a suitable match with a child in care
  2. Supporting you while you foster

    Ongoing

    • You will be given a dedicated social worker to support you in your role as a foster carer
    • Our comprehensive training package lets you improve your skills and is linked to the allowance you receive
    • An out-of-hours hotline gives you access to our emergency team, 24 hours a day
    • Luton’s foster carers have their own support group, with regular coffee mornings and meetings where you can share experiences and give each other advice and support
Woman and man with smiling child

Download fostering pack
Get in touch

Fostering has opened our children’s eyes; it has made our family more compassionate, considerate, tolerant and caring

Ready to apply?

If you are ready to apply, please complete our initial enquiry form, below.

Apply to become a foster carer

Still have questions?

Get in touch

Learn more

Common questions and concerns

Many people have the same questions and concerns about fostering. Find the answers to some of the most common here.

Find out more

Fostering information events

A chance to meet us, find out more, ask questions and talk to foster carers.

Find out more

< Fostering and fostering services

Contact us