National Fostering Agency Part 2:

In the second part of a series of three posts from the National Fostering Agency the question of what qualities children look for in their foster carers is answered. If you missed Part 1 of this series then the post can be found here:

What Qualities Do Children Look For In Foster Carers?

Parents often want their children to be clever, polite, sporty, successful and countless other qualities. Some even go to some extreme lengths to ensure that this is the case. However, being a foster parent it’s not about you or what you want, it’s about the children and what they need from you.

Most foster parents do what they do because they love it. They enjoy having the children around and get just as much from the relationships. After all, they’re just people and not saints, and they have their own reasons for wanting to foster. But the bottom line remains that they need to do what is best for the foster children that come into their lives.

Now in most cases, this involves being consistent and laying down rules and regulations that create a stable environment. Foster children have to abide by the rules of their foster parents when in their homes. You might think this is not quite what the children themselves would want but you’d be wrong. One of the main things that any foster child says about the qualities they look for in a foster parent is consistency. They want to be able to trust the foster parent and know where they stand. More important than that, they want to be treated as if they were their own children – and that involves rules and stability.

Foster children want their foster parents to be kind and happy, always smiling and generous too. They want to be made to feel welcome and they want the foster parents to listen to what they have to say and to learn to trust them.

In short, foster children want exactly the same things from foster parents as any child does from any parent. Children are often very intuitive and have a clear understanding of what they really need from foster parents. And as a foster parent, it is your duty to try your best to provide this for them.

Parents might want their children to be all the things mentioned above but they also know that more importantly than that, their main job is to ensure they provide their children with all the things they need to make them feel safe and happy. As a foster parent, you need to know that this same for you. There may be some subtle differences but the essentials remain the same.

If you think that you can offer these qualities to a child who may need them desperately, then you may be the right kind of person to foster children. It is not always an easy job and while children all need the same things deep down, they don’t always necessarily recognise this at all times. Your job is to offer a consistent and stable environment built around the main qualities the children need. You can only do your best to offer them this - and you might just find that doing so is one of the most rewarding things you will ever do.

Would you like to be a Foster Parent?

If Fostering is something you are interested in doing or you would like to talk to us further then come and check us out at: 

NFA Website at  or
Email: or

Phone: 0845 200 4040


Editors Note from Gem at Life with Katie: 
This post was written by the National Fostering Agency

No fee or recompense was received for sharing this post.



  1. Thank you for posting these!

    As you know, Tim and I have been considering fostering for quite some time now (even before we had Oscar), we even started contacting foster care agencies earlier this year. Unfortunately both of us are having health issues at the moment so everything is on hold. We need to be far more stable before considering it any further and we both underestimated the depth of our health issues. However we still very much want to consider fostering again in the future, so it is great to read posts like these.

    Tim is finally starting new treatment for his neuropathy and I see a consultant next week to discuss my options. I think I've exhausted most of my options over the past 15 years and so am hoping we can look at a more long-term management plan rather than the short-term options we've always looked at. I'm hopeful that in another year or two we may be in a position to look at fostering properly and actually start the process of applying to be foster carers. In the meantime I am reading all I can about it!


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