Parents with teenager

Nottingham City Council is encouraging potential foster carers to come forward so that children and teenagers can experience next Christmas and New Year in a loving family home.

The process of applying to become a foster carer takes around six months, so by this time next year new carers could have a child or young person settled in with them.

People from all different walks of life can foster – the most important thing is they can provide a secure and loving home and are over the age of 21.

Fosters carers simply need to be warm, energetic and have a good sense of humour and have a spare room. They need to listen, be supportive and able to offer advice, at the same time as have some fun.

Councillor Cheryl Barnard, Portfolio Holder for Children, Young People and Education at Nottingham City Council, said: “We are encouraging people to think about doing something amazing this year by fostering a child. Having been a foster carer myself, I say that it is an extremely rewarding experience that can significantly turn around a vulnerable child’s life.

“We hope that next Christmas will be a special one for the many children in our care who are hoping to move into a loving home.”

The call comes after the council announced last month that it will form part of a regional fostering hub after more than £1.6m of funding was secured. This will help potential foster carers on their journey from initial expression of interest to formal application.

Councillor Barnard added: “It’s easy to take Christmas for granted, especially if you have a loving and supportive family around you. Unfortunately, that’s not the case for every child in Nottingham for a variety of reasons.

“We have youngsters who are desperate to experience the joy that comes from having a stable family environment where they can grow and thrive. Opening your home and your life to a vulnerable child is surely one of the greatest gifts a person can give back to our city.

“If you’ve ever considered becoming a foster carer, please get in touch at You could make 2024 a very special year for a youngster in Nottingham, and this coming December it might be you decorating the Christmas tree with the new addition to your family.”   

More information is available here.

There is no one type of person who makes a good foster carer. However, certain experiences, skills and abilities are essential.

With the number of children coming into care at an all-time high, we urgently need more carers to come forward. Fostering may be unlike anything you have ever done before. Although it can be a challenging role, it can also be very rewarding as you see your foster child or young person develop after a difficult start in life. In some situations they may go home when their situation has improved or be moved on to permanent family and foster carers play a vital role in making this happen.

We welcome enquiries from:

  • Anyone aged 21 or over
  • Single people
  • Couples (married/living together/same sex/civil partnership)
  • Home owners or tenants
  • Employed or unemployed
  • Disabled

What personal qualities are we looking for?

We’re looking for people with a mature outlook who are realistic and can offer positive experiences to our children in care to help them thrive and grow into the people they’re destined to be. Some qualities are the same as those asked of any parent. Some children will have experienced trauma and separation from their birth family. Some will have had many different carers.

What does a foster carer need to be able to do?

  • Provide a safe, healthy and nurturing home for a child
  • Demonstrate personal warmth to adults and children
  • Work with us to implement a plan for the child or young person they are caring for (which is likely to involve contact with parents and others who are important to the child)
  • Value diversity and ensure the child or young person are encouraged to have a positive understanding of their origins, religion and culture
  • Understand other people’s points of view and feelings, and to be sensitive to others
  • ‘Stand back’ from problems and be flexible in resolving them
  • Enable children and young people who are moving on, to do so in a positive manner
  • Understand child/teenager development
  • Listen to and communicate with children and young people.
  • Manage children’s behaviour with appropriate boundaries without the use of physical or other inappropriate punishment
  • Sustain supportive relationships with family, friends and the community
  • Use training and supervision to improve their own skills
  • Value a child’s history and its importance to them
  • Recognise their own limitations and to ask for, and accept, help