Fostering and adoption

Action for Children has been finding stable, loving homes for children who need them for nearly 150 years. We are experts in finding the best possible match between children and foster carers. As we are smaller than many other fostering and adoption agencies, we can offer our foster carers and adopters high levels of training and support, and a friendly and personal touch. As a charity our commitment is getting things right for children, not for shareholders.

Choosing to foster or adopt with Action for Children

Why foster with us?

Are you passionate about making a difference for children, and have energy and space in your life? We’d love you to join our team and become a foster carer with us.

About fostering

Why adopt with us?

We were one of the UK’s first approved adoption agencies. We’re looking for loving, supportive, determined people to offer permanent, loving homes to children.

About adoption

In order to reduce the spread of Covid-19, we are limiting all non-essential face-to-face contact. This means your enquiry might progress a little slower than we’d normally like. We will do our best to support you and give you a call to make sure you have all you need.

man - foster carer stock
"I don't think I could work with a more caring or knowledgeable organisation."

John Sampson
Action for Children Foster Carer

Frequently asked questions

Do I need to own my own home?

No, whether you rent or own you only need to have a spare bedroom.

Do I need to have worked with children before?

Not strictly, only a small number of our foster carers have actually worked directly in child care roles. We will look for you to have an understanding or knowledge of children, which you can get through contact with a family member or friends' children, or even through volunteering. We help all sorts of people become foster carers, so don't rule yourself out.

Will the age of my own child/children affect the process?

Generally in England, we would want your children to be over 18 months and in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland there is no minimum age.

Can I still foster if I am lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender or single?

Absolutely. Almost anyone can become a foster parent. It's not about your personal circumstances; it's about your qualities and the support you can offer a child.

Can I refuse a child/young person who I don't feel is compatible?

Yes. We take care to ensure any placement meets yours and the child’s needs, but if for any reason you feel the match is unsuitable we will not place that child with you.

Can single people adopt?

Yes, we have many single people, both men and women who have successfully adopted with us.

I’m unemployed. Can I adopt?

Yes, we are interested in the experience and skills you can offer to a child in need of a loving and permanent home. We will talk to you about finances to help you plan realistically for the child. If you are unsure talk to us about your individual situation.

I am in a same sex relationship. Can I adopt?

We welcome lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender adopters whether they are single or looking to adopt jointly.

I’m having fertility treatment. Can I adopt?

You will need to have stopped fertility treatment as this is an emotional time and it’s important to make use of the time between your last treatment and adoption.

I have a criminal record. Will this prevent me from adopting?

Having a criminal record does not automatically prevent you from becoming an adoptive parent. We will look at your criminal record in the context of your past and present lifestyle. However, some offences (those committed against children and young people in particular) do mean that you won't be able to adopt.