Fostering with pets

We welcome foster carers who have pets.

Speak to your local team

We believe that pets can be a great source of comfort, support and a calming influence. They can also help to build confidence in children.

An assessment of the suitability and safety of the pet you own would be carried out during one of our visits to your home.

We would be assessing the risk of harm to a child from your pet but also the other way around.

Fostering with pets

Dogs can be a great source of comfort to children. See what Daren has to say about his dog:

Dog breeds

Any pet that would be considered as dangerous would not be suitable in a home with a foster child.

These would include certain dog breeds that have been identified as being potentially aggressive, including German Shepherds, Bulldogs and Dobermanns.

Our furry friends

Dogs and children can be great friends and having a dog can help children develop kindness, understanding and respect for living things.

Dog companionship can improve a child's social skills with people, while caring for a pet can encourage responsibility.

Portrait of Tanya, a foster carer, holding a small dog in her home

Training and supervision

To ensure the safety of the child or young person, you must maintain adequate training, hygiene, health care and supervision of the animal.

It is your responsibility to demonstrate the pet's ability to cope with a child or young person who is placed with you.

Our expertise

Action for Children Fostering has significant expertise in finding the best possible match between children and foster families.

We always put the child’s best interests first. We would therefore not place a child in a home that has pets if we know the child is afraid of animals or has an allergy or sensitivity to pet hair.

Our assessment would also consider the number of pets a potential foster carer has.

More than two dogs, for example, would require an additional safety assessment as well as an understanding of the time and cost these pets need.

We would not approve a foster carer who had a breed of dog that is registered under the Dangerous Dogs Act.