What can disqualify you from foster care?


Becoming a foster carer is a rewarding experience that can make a difference in a child’s life. You might be curious about why your application could be rejected, especially if you're considering fostering. Or, if you’re already fostering a child you might want to know if changes in your circumstances might impact your ability to foster again. In this guide, we’ll explain why your application might be rejected, what changes in circumstances could disqualify you from being a foster carer and what you can and can’t do as a foster parent.

Reasons for fostering rejection

The main reason why your application to become a foster carer could be rejected is for not  the fostering requirements. The fostering requirements are essential to ensure you can meet the needs of your foster child.meeting

To be considered as a foster carer you must meet the following requirements:

  • A spare bedroom
  • Good mental and physical health
  • Be over 21 years of age

At Capstone, we assess all of our foster carers' applications on a case-by-case basis. Some circumstances may not necessarily stop you from being approved, but only if there is no risk of impacting the quality of care for your foster child.

Criminal record

While you can still become a foster carer if you have a criminal conviction, the nature and severity of the crime will be considered during your application. Serious convictions, violent crimes, sexual crimes and crimes against children will disqualify you from becoming a foster carer.

Substance addiction or abuse

If you struggle with addiction or substance abuse or have a history of addiction, it’s likely to hurt the care of a foster child. Substance abuse and addiction can affect your ability to provide a safe and stable environment for your foster child to thrive in.

Financial situation

One of the benefits of fostering with Capstone is our generous fostering allowance, which covers the costs of looking after a foster child and rewards you for your time, your financial stability will still be considered. It's possible to become a foster carer if you receive universal credit and other benefits, any significant debt or financial instability could impact your ability to meet your foster child’s needs. 

Living situation

Just like your financial situation, if there are any risks to your foster child’s stability, it’s likely your foster carer's application will be rejected. This includes not having a stable housing situation. It could also mean an unsuitable living situation like inadequate heating, mould or unsafe electrical wiring. It includes anything that poses a danger to your foster child in your home, like a pet that could become vicious or issues with cleanliness that could turn into a health risk.     

Previous child protection concerns

If you’ve had previous child protection proceedings or had a child or children removed from your care, it will be considered during the foster care application process. You’ll need to provide evidence of a safe and nurturing environment for your foster child.

Personal skills  

There are several personal skills needed to become a foster carer, and you need to demonstrate your readiness and commitment to this role. Capstone is here to provide you with the support you need to become a foster carer, but you’ll need to possess the understanding, empathy and commitment to provide a supportive and loving home for your foster child.

What changes can disqualify you from being a foster carer?

If you’re already fostering a child, and there’s a change in your circumstances, our advice is to speak to your social worker so we can assess the situation. While some of these changes in circumstances can disqualify you from fostering, each case is reviewed individually with the child’s best interests at heart.

  • If you are going through a criminal investigation
  • Physical illness or injury
  • Mental health illness
  • Neglect concerns
  • Abuse allegations
  • Domestic violence
  • Changes in living arrangements
  • Breakdown of a relationship

What are you not allowed to do as a foster carer?

The rules of what you can or can't do are established to ensure the safety and care of your foster child. Some of these rules are fundamentals that should be a given.

  • Physical punishment
  • Verbal or emotional abuse
  • Neglect
  • Isolation or confinement
  • Discrimination due to race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability, or any other characteristics
  • Inappropriate relationships

Other rules that need further clarity include making decisions about your foster child’s life and care alone or without considering your foster child’s family. For example, a foster carer cannot refuse to vaccinate a foster child against their family’s wishes. You shouldn't make significant changes to your child’s life, including their education, or religious practices, without agreement from their family. You should also avoid making drastic changes to their appearance like shaving their hair or letting them get a tattoo.

As a foster carer, you should follow the appropriate channels regarding contact with your foster child’s family. All contact arrangements need to be agreed upon by your social worker and supporting team here at Capstone.

Want to learn more about who can foster? Read more in our guide. Or if you’re ready to take the next step in your fostering journey get in touch today.

Thinking of fostering?

If you’ve got any questions or would like to find out more about fostering with Capstone, fill out the form below.
An experienced fostering advisor from your local area will then be in touch.

The information you provide will be used to respond to the enquiry you have submitted, for further information please refer to our privacy policy.

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Find out more about fostering with Capstone.

Download our helpful guide to becoming a foster carer

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Ways to

Start the conversation today. Our team of friendly advisors are on hand to answer any foster care questions you may have. We can offer you honest and practical advice that can help you decide if becoming a foster carer is the right path for you. 

Request a
call back

Contact us by completing our online form and one of our fostering advisors will respond to your enquiry within 24 hours.

Call us

Contact us by phone and one of our friendly fostering experts will be on hand for any foster care advice and support you require.

Download a Brochure

Download our helpful guide to becoming a foster carer with Capstone Foster Care.