Fostering with Hackney
Fostering provides a family life for children who can’t live with their birth parents.
Being a foster carer plays a hugely important role for a child in care.
Fostering can be challenging at times, but it’s also very rewarding. You’ll be making a difference to children and young people who need your help and love.
We all work together. This way we can make sure the best possible support and services are in place to provide better futures for Hackney’s looked after children.
On this page:
We need to recruit at least 20 new foster carers each year to meet local demands.
The first step to becoming a foster carer is to register your interest.
You can register your interest by:
- telephone – 0800 0730 418
- email – email@example.com
We organise free monthly information sessions to help you get the answers to questions you have whilst thinking about becoming a foster carer or supported lodgings host.
We offer sessions online and in person. If any of our information session dates are not convenient for you, contact us directly and speak to a member of the team.
To be eligible to foster, you must:
- be over 21 and capable to meet the demands of parenthood
- be able to take care of a child or young person, often on a full-time basis
- in reasonably good health, fit and well enough to care for children into adulthood
- able to offer a secure home with a spare bedroom for one or more children – you do not have to own your own home
- have the time and ability to foster – you don’t need to give up work to foster, as long as your work is flexible enough to cope with the demands and you have a support network in place
We recruit a diverse range of foster carers. You can become a foster carer if you:
- are single, married, cohabiting or in a civil partnership
- are same sex couples – see our YouTube proud to foster video
- work full-time – if your employer allows you to take time off for meetings, training and school holidays
- don’t work – we can offer advice as to how your fostering allowance will affect any state allowances or benefits you may receive
- have children of your own – we include your whole family in the assessment
- have never been a parent
- are past retirement age – if you’re in good health and have the energy to care for a child
- are overweight – if you’re healthy enough to look after a child
- live outside of Hackney – you must travel to Hackney for our training and support groups
- have a criminal conviction – it depends on the conviction, we carry out a Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) check on all applicants
See our foster carers’ charter (PDF 454kb).
See our foster carers’ handbook (PDF 23mb).
Children from all backgrounds in Hackney need homes with foster carers to have better outcomes in life.
Children enter foster care for many reasons. This means they need different forms of emotional and practical support.
There are many reasons why a child may be removed from their birth family. These include:
- at a parents request or agreement when the Children and Families Service thinks it’s necessary
- the Children and Families Service receives a court order to protect a child
We always try to keep families together when we can. We need foster carers when this is not possible.
In many cases, it’s still important for a child or young person to maintain connections with their birth family. Foster carers help organise and support regular meetings for contact between them.
Currently, placements we need the most often are for:
- young children aged 4 to 12 years
- teenagers aged 13 to 16 years
- sibling groups
- children with disabilities
- specialist fostering schemes
- teenage fostering
- parent and child fostering
Fostering placements vary depending on why the child has come into care. Where it is safe to do so, we work with families so that a child may return to their birth families.