Many agencies may be looking to place a child specifically, or ideally, with families with some experience of caring for, or being around, children. This may be for many reasons; such as the child has particular needs that would require more assured, confident parenting.

Childcare experience can involve anything from babysitting, working in the childcare sector, to looking after nieces and nephews. Parenting experience refers to just that – experience of parenting an adoptive, foster or birth child.

This kind of experience is always helpful. If a prospective foster family has not had much contact with children in adulthood, they may be advised to think about how they can increase this, such as volunteering at a local playgroup or school.

However, childcare or parenting experience is not essential, and many families with no experience of either will go on to foster, with the support and preparation of the agency.