Any of us could foster image 2024

Myth-busting campaign aims to highlight who can be a foster carer

There’s no such thing as a ‘typical’ foster carer, according to a new campaign launched by Lancashire County Council.

The myth-busting campaign aims to dispel myths about eligibility. Someone's sexuality, gender, home, age or religion will not get in the way of them starting a career in this vital role, helping local children for whom life hasn’t always been easy.

Many individuals and couples who would make great foster carers are sometimes put off by myths about eligibility. Foster carers can be single, married, divorced or cohabiting, have their own children or no children, own their own home or rent, or have a disability.

Foster carers can be in work or be claiming benefits and the council welcome enquiries from all sections of the community, who have a faith or no faith and can be from a LGBT+ background. Carers need to be over 21, but there is no upper limit. They can work full time, part time, or not at all, can own pets, don't need to have formal experience or qualifications and don't need to drive.

Geraldine, now 76, had concerns that her age was going to be a barrier for her. But she became a foster carer for Lancashire County Council in October 2018, when she was 71.


She said: "I took a leaflet home from a fostering stand at a church fair in 2017, considered the details for a while and realised that my age was not going to be a barrier. I had just retired, was fit and active and couldn't see any reason for not making an application. I am single and this also did not affect my application to foster.

"I started fostering when I was 71 years old. Lancashire County Council's application process was straightforward and initially involved a home visit to discuss details further with me and check I had a bedroom free.

"Once my application was accepted, I received training which was informative and enjoyable, and some of the work I could do at home in my own time. Once approved, I received ongoing support from the fostering team.

"I have fostered seven children ranging from newborn, up to 14 years old. I have enjoyed every single second and plan to continue to foster."

County Councillor Cosima Towneley, cabinet member for children and families, said: "The difference you can make, turning around a child or teenager's life, is unbelievable.

"We have incredible carers who have been kind enough to share their fostering journeys.  By myth-busting, we look forward to welcoming interest from the whole Lancashire community.

"The main ingredients to fostering are patience, passion and kindness.  We would hate to miss out on potential carers because of misconceptions around who can foster.

"Age, race, sexuality, tenant or homeowner, rural or urban living, such labels are completely irrelevant alongside people who can provide a stable, loving home.

"If you think you could open the door to offer a haven to a Lancashire child or young person, please do take the first step and contact the Lancashire fostering team."

Lancashire County Council offer help with the cost of fostering and support to help fosterers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Potential carers do not have to have specific qualifications in working with children as the council offer a comprehensive training programme, including the Skills to Foster course for all carers.

Lancashire County Council pay generous and competitive allowances and rewards.

Check the facts and find out more about other fostering myths online at or call our friendly team for a chat on 0300 123 6723.