There is no official upper age limit for foster carers. Can you foster? Can you change lives? Take our quick survey.
Many older people make excellent carers, providing they are fit and well and able to look after a child or young person. Fostering services may set their own upper age limit but generally if you can show that you have the experience, ability and dedication to make a difference to a child’s life then you are not too old to foster.
Almost half of the nation thinks that if you’re over 55 you can’t be a foster carer. As a general rule, service providers like foster carers to be over 21 years old but legally you can apply to foster from 18 years old dependent on your ability and situation.
There is no upper age limit and some foster carers continue well into their 70s. What matters is that you are fit enough and able to care for a child or young person placed with you. The majority of foster carers are within the 40 to 60 year old age range.
Kath and Roy Shayler are aged 67 and 66 respectively and have recently received their MBE from the Queen for their outstanding contribution for services to children.
Kath and Roy prove that age is not a barrier to performing a vital role within the community. As long as you have the drive and energy to make a commitment and a difference then your age is not restrictive in your role demonstrated by our 90 year old Queen but also by Kath and Roy.
Kath and Roy were approved to foster in 1972 shortly after the birth of their second child. Despite having six of their own children, they have fostered 150 children during the past 44 years and currently foster two children on a long-term placement.
Now, Kath and Roy have passed on the fostering bug to other members of their family. Kath’s sister has been fostering for over 25 years and their son Steven and his wife Ceri are also foster carers.
Kath said: “Our own children have never known a home without foster children there to share everything, including their mum and dad. We have been lucky as this experience has made them the caring adults that they are today and they have been so supportive over the years.”
Kath added: “To receive this award (MBE) from the Queen is such an honour for us, as we feel we have been rewarded for something that has given us nothing but pleasure over the years and for us is a way of life and always will be, yet we have been rewarded so generously. We are still fostering and hope to continue for many more years to come.”
Kath and Roy’s five children as well as a care leaver who they had fostered from the age of three witnessed their parents receiving their MBE from Her Majesty the Queen in the ballroom of Buckingham Palace.
Kath (aged 67) and Roy (aged 66) both said, “The Queen talked to us for quite a time, asking us about fostering, how many children had we had, whether they came from difficult backgrounds and so on.”
The Shayler family celebrated on the train on the way home to Weymouth, as Kath and Roy were keen to get back to see their foster children who are aged eight and nine.
When asked if they would now retire and end on a high note after receiving this prestigious award, Kath said, “We have no intention of retiring and will carry on fostering until we are forced to finish. It’s a wonderful thing to be able to turn a child around; the whole experience of fostering has changed our lives”
Who knows where your journey in fostering could take you. Every journey starts with a first step; yours could be making contact with Fosterline today.
Can you foster? Can you change lives?
There is a constant need for foster carers with a shortfall of around 9,000 in this year alone.
Don’t delay; start the process today.
Find out if you fit the criteria to foster by completing our quick online survey. (only 11 tick box questions)
Call Fosterline in confidence to find out more about becoming a foster carer on 0800 040 7675. Qualified Fosterline Advisers are available 9.00am to 5.00pm, Monday to Friday.