Fostering with Leeds

Fostering is about improving the lives of children and young people, you don’t need any special qualification to become a foster carer but you do need to genuinely enjoy the challenges of childcare. 

We support carers throughout their fostering journey,  preparing you for what is involved in fostering, and offering a full range of support and advice. There’s no such thing as a typical foster carer and we know everybody has something to give. 

We are currently seeking foster carers for:

- Young people aged 11 – 17 years old
- Large sibling groups
- Children & young people who are disabled and/or have complex needs
- Parent & Child
- Unaccompanied asylum seeking children

If you would like more information on fostering then please read our Advisory leaflet (PDF 1.4MB).

In addition to fostering, the department also offers a Supported Lodgings Service for young people aged 16 plus. These scheme is ideal for people and families who want to make a difference but struggle to offer the time that full time fostering often needs. For more information on Supported Lodgings please read our Supported lodgings leaflet (PDF 383KB).

If you would like to speak with a Fostering Advisor then please call on 0113 378 3538 (please leave contact details if you get the answer phone) or email us at

Click to expandDo I need any special qualifications to foster?

No you don't. We will talk to you at the start of the process about the skills and experience you have to offer, and what you will need to provide. 

You will need to genuinely enjoy the challenges of childcare, and it helps to have qualities such as patience, resourcefulness, flexibility and a sense of humour!  ​

Click to expandDo I need to have a particular type of accommodation?

You will need to have enough space so that the child or children you foster can have their own bedroom. You may own your own home, rent from the local authority or rent privately. What is more important is that you are able to offer space for a fostered child which meets their needs. ​

Click to expandCan I apply if I live outside of Leeds?

Yes. We do need foster carers who live locally, particularly for those children who need short-term support. However, we would still like to hear from you if you live within a 20 mile radius of Leeds city centre, which includes many of our bordering towns and cities.​​

Click to expandHow old do I need to be?

You need to be at least 21 years old to be a foster carer. If you are aged between 21 and 25 years old need to be able to demonstrate 'transferable experience' to be considered.

We do not have an upper age limit, although it would be unusual to accept applications from people who are into retirement age.​​

Click to expandCan I still have a career/maintain my work commitments and be a foster carer?

Yes you can. We work with you before you take a fostering placement, discussing how you can fit your career around the needs of the young person in your care.

Looking after any child can mean changing your work patterns, reducing your working hours or choosing to completely give up - however this is dependent on the needs and challenges of the child.

Click to expandAre there any other criteria you take into account?

We look at each application on an individual basis, and welcome applications from people of all religions, races, genders and sexuality. We cannot approve people who smoke to care for children under the age of five years old, or for children of any age who have respiratory or related health problems.

We have a policy regarding households with dogs/pets. We do not generally approve households who have over two dogs however this can depend on the size and breed of the dog. We never approve households with dogs banned under the Dangerous Dog Act 1991.

We cannot assess any person who has a specified offence against a child or adult. For a full list of these offences see the link below.​

List of offences

Click to expandWhat other things should I think about?

Fostering can be demanding as well as rewarding and fun, and we believe it’s important to work with you to make a success of what is, at times, a challenging commitment.

We need people to be enthusiastic and committed to fostering but it is also important to be realistic about what you feel you are able to offer.

hings which it may be helpful to think about before going further:
-Have you enough space, particularly bedroom space?
-If you have children, how old are they? What are your own children like? Are they happy to share you, their space and their friends and family?
-Consider your lifestyle and other commitments. Are you and your family adaptable to meeting the extra demand of fostering?
-If you are in a relationship, are you both equally committed to fostering?
-What personal qualities do you feel you have to offer?
-Is this the right time to start fostering?

Of course, these are not questions we expect you to answer alone and if you would like to speak to member of our fostering team you can call us on 0113 378 3538.