Becoming a foster carer

Once you have decided to become a foster carer you can follow our step by step guide to help you on your journey. On average it takes around 6 months to become a foster carer but this can vary depending on your individual circumstances.

1. Attend an information evening

One of the first steps on your fostering journey is to come to one of our online fostering information evenings. We have them every month on Zoom. Once you book onto a date that suits you, we’ll send you the Zoom login details so you can find out more about fostering with us, talk to some of our foster carers and ask members of our team any questions.

Find out about our next Fostering Information Evenings

2. Arrange a home visit

A social worker will visit you at home to talk to you in more depth about the assessment process and how fostering will fit in with your family and lifestyle. Within 7 days of your visit, we'll contact you to let you know if we think you're suitable to become a foster carer. If so, we'll send you an application form to complete and return to us.

3. Fostering preparation training

This is an introductory training course designed to give you an understanding of what fostering is all about. The course takes place over 3 days and is facilitated by staff from our fostering team and experienced foster carers.

We will arrange this for you after your home visit.

4. Complete the assessment process

You'll have a number of visits to your home by a social worker to undertake your fostering assessment. These visits will involve learning more about your family and answering any additional questions you might have about fostering.

The assessment takes approximately 4 months to complete and will involve meeting with people in your network who can tell us what you are like caring for children as well as meeting with any children you have and undertaking a range of checks.

This is just to ensure that the people we approve as foster carers are safe people to care for children. People tell us that they really enjoy their assessment as it gives them a chance to talk about their lives in a way they don’t often get the chance to. The assessment gets written up into a report which you will see and can add to.

5. Attend the fostering panel

Once your assessment has been completed, the report is presented to the fostering panel. The panel includes care experienced people, foster carers and other professionals from education and health. You will be encouraged to attend the meeting. The panel are all very welcoming and will ask you some questions about your application. You will be told their recommendation at the end of the meeting.

6. After your approval

If you are approved you will become a registered foster carer and will await your first placement. You will be given a welcome pack by your fostering worker who will also talk to you about the support you will receive from us.