Becoming a Foster Carer: The Process
A step-by-step guide to the process of being approved as a foster carer
After you've first got in touch
Once you have completed our online fostering enquiry form or called the team, we will contact you within two working days. We'll then arrange a time to undertake a home visit to discuss all aspects of fostering.
First home visit
We'll arrange for an initial visit to your home so we can get to know you, assess your living space and see if you have room to foster a child. We'll talk to you about your experience, skills and your reasons for wanting to become a foster carer.
Application and checks
On receipt of your application form, we'll make some checks and references. You will be asked to have a medical examination completed by your GP (which we pay for) and we will need references from family, friends and, if appropriate, your employer. We will also arrange for a criminal records check.
You'll attend a training course to help prepare you for fostering. You will learn about the responsibilities and rewards of fostering from our trainers and existing foster carers. This is a '2-way' training course where you will get to know us better and vice versa.
Assessment and home visits
A social worker will visit you and your family regularly over a period of three months in order to complete an assessment report, making sure you're prepared to become a foster carer. With your help, the social worker will write a report detailing your relevant experience and skills.
Your assessment report will be sent to the Fostering Panel and you'll be invited to attend a meeting with the panel along with your social worker. The Fostering Panel is an independent group of people who will recommend whether to approve you as a foster carer.
We're committed to offering the highest level of support to all our foster carers, including 24 hour, 365 day support from social workers. You will receive regular support and guidance from your own social worker.
You will also have regular training, support groups and an experienced buddy to help you through the early stages of fostering.
Find out about Becoming a Foster Carer: Support.
Find out about Becoming a Foster Carer: Training.