“I would love to foster but I am probably too old”. We hear these words frequently. There are a lot of common misconceptions about fostering. One of them is that there's a cut-off age for foster carers.
We’ve had many foster carers into their 60s and 70s that have provided a safe and loving home to a child or young person in care. They do an incredible job. Having life experience and transferable skills certainly helps to be an amazing foster carer. You might have recently retired from a role working with children, and fostering is a perfect first step. Perhaps you’re a parent, uncle or aunt who is looking to inspire more young people?
No matter your background, the most important thing is that our foster carers have a great sense of humour, are resilient and have the capacity to care for a local vulnerable child or young person.
“People told us that at our age we should be sitting down and relaxing, not looking after teenage children, but we disagreed!” - Joyce, Foster Carer
We will always reassure you that it’s more about how old you feel. As long as you’re aged 21 or over, your interest in fostering will be considered. Our fostering team assesses everyone on an individual basis to make sure you’re healthy and able to provide transport to foster children to attend school and activity clubs. We find that active and dedicated carers come from all backgrounds, and all ages.
Hear first-hand from our Rotherham carers who came to fostering later in life and have never looked back:
Anthony and Joyce's Story
Anthony and Joyce made the choice to foster after Anthony retired at the age of 60, deciding it was the perfect time for them and their family. Like many others who think their age is a barrier, Joyce had assumed that they might be too old to begin fostering. Our friendly fostering team reassured Anthony and Joyce that their age was no limiting factor.
They have fostered 13 children on a long-term basis and a further 185 children needing either emergency placements or respite care. “That's the joy of fostering, it's so worthwhile, and it's wonderful to see these young people grow".
Anthony and Joyce share many highlights during their fostering journey. Read more here.
Robert and Justine's Story
Many think that fostering is only possible on a long-term basis. We offer many types of fostering for our carers and looked after children. When applying to foster, your preferences and lifestyle will always be taken into consideration to decide which arrangement works best for you.
Robert was 75 when he and his wife, Justine, started to provide short-term care for Rotherham children. They both worked full-time so task-centred fostering worked best for them and they enjoyed the fact that task-centred care let them help many different children.
To anyone of a similar age who’s thinking about fostering, Robert pointed out, “you have a wealth of experience to pass on to these children. Even if you haven’t had children, you’ve still got that experience of life and that’s what these kids want.”
You can read more about Robert and Justine’s experience here.
Learn more about fostering in Rotherham
If you have any questions about fostering in Rotherham, book a call back with a member of our experienced team at a time that suits you. All our call backs are confidential.