Renfrewshire Council

Information about becoming a foster carer

Your health, criminal records, the fostering process, becoming a foster carer, the children you foster.

Your health

I smoke - can I still foster?

Yes, but we ask that all smoking foster carers only smoke outside their house. If you, or someone in your household smokes, you will not have placements of children under the age of 5.

I am overweight - can I still foster?

Personal wellbeing is vitally important, and each case will be assessed individually as you may not be healthy enough to meet the demands of caring for a foster child. The health and wellbeing of the child is in your care so it is important for foster carers to encourage healthy eating and exercise routines. If you are overweight, we are likely to ask for significant medical advice.

I have a health problem - am I still eligible to foster?

Health checks will be carried out as part of the application process, however if you have been ill in the past, this will not necessarily affect your eligibility if you are now healthy.

Criminal Records

I have a criminal record - can I still foster?

This depends on your criminal offence. An enhanced disclosure (PVG) is carried out on all potential foster carers, and each case is individually considered.

My partner has a criminal record - can we still foster?

If you live with your partner, or your partner will be coming into contact with the child, then they will also have to undergo a full PVG disclosure and be assessed. Again, this would individually be considered.

Do my birth children need a police check?

Anyone living in your home over the age of 16 will be required to undergo a police check. If you have children under the age of 16 living at home, they will not be required to complete a disclosure.

The fostering process

How long does the application process take as a whole?

Each case is dependent upon the individual, and issues which may arise and require the attention of social workers involved in your application process. On average, the whole process may take up to a year from the preparation group stages.

What support will I receive throughout the application process?

Once you complete the six module preparation groups, and have been approved to continue onto the home study process, you will be allocated a supervising social worker, who will assist and guide you through the rest of your application process.

Becoming a foster carer

Are there any age limits?

You can foster with Renfrewshire Council from the age of 21.

I am single - can I foster?

Yes. We accept applications from single people.

What accommodation is needed to foster?

You can live in a house or flat of any size as long as you have a spare room for fostering.

Can I still work if I am a foster carer?

This depends on the age and needs of the child. We expect the primary carer to be available full-time to attend the needs of the child, however, the second carer may still work.

Will I get paid for being a foster carer?

Yes, you can find our fees on the 'Carers Fees' section. 

I don't have my own children - can I foster?

You do not need to have your own children to foster although it is beneficial if you do have experience with children.

What help will I receive from Renfrewshire Council?

As a carer for Renfrewshire, you will receive support, training, and generous financial allowances.

Foster children

Do I get to choose what age I foster?

The Fostering Panel will agree on what age you will be able to foster and how many children. You may be asked to look after a child outwith your age range in an emergency situation.

Do children in care still see their birth families?

This depends on how much contact is allowed between the child and their birth family.  Each case is very different and assessed carefully. Some children may not have any contact with their parents at all, where others can have up to five days a week.

What happens to children in care once they are 18?

At the age of 18, a young person can legally move out of care and into independent living. If a young person, or carer, feels that the young person is not ready for independent living, the carer can become what is known as a supported carer to the young person.

As a supported carer, the young person will still live with you as they progress into adulthood until the age of 21, allowing them to properly prepare for adulthood and develop the skills and experiences necessary to succeed in life. You will still receive financial help from Renfrewshire Council.