Steps to fostering

Find out about the process and steps involved in becoming a foster carer.

We know how daunting it can be to make the first contact with us on your fostering journey. Do not worry, we are here to support you every step of the way.

There are six steps to go through to become a foster carer and it is good for you to know that the whole process can take up to six months.

Step one - contact us

We are not here to 'hard sell' you into fostering. Your first step is to enquire and  download our fostering brochure (pdf / 5 MB). That is it.

Enquire and request more information


Phone: 01609 534654

Or you can pop along to one of our information events.

No matter what you choose, our team will have an informal chat with you, when you are ready, to answer your initial questions. They will talk you through all the pros and cons to see whether fostering would be right for you.

Step two - virtual visit and initial training

After the initial informal chat, we will arrange a convenient time for a virtual visit where we aim to find out more about you and your family. If you and our team are happy to move forward, you will be invited to attend one of our Skills to Foster preparation training groups along with other people who are applying to be foster carers. The groups are a great way to prepare for fostering and meet other like-minded people to build up support networks for your journey.

Step three - formal application

Next, we will ask you to complete a formal application form. This is the first official step of the formal process.

Step four - statutory checks

We will undertake some statutory checks on you, and anyone else in your household aged over 18. This is standard procedure for any fostering agency and we are on hand to give you any support you need.

The checks include a DBS check, a medical, references and council checks.

We work with the Disclosure and Barring Service, education and health services and your doctor. You will also need to nominate several personal referees that we can contact so it is a good time to have a chat with family and friends so they can support you through the whole process.

Information on the Disclosure and Barring Service can be found on the government's website.

Step five - working with you

At this step, you will be assigned one of our social workers who, over several visits, will explore all the possible issues involved with becoming a foster carer and how it will impact you and your family.

They will then prepare a report that you will be able to comment on. The completed report is considered formally by our panel and a decision will be reached about whether to approve you as a foster carer. A recommendation is also made about the age, number of children and type of foster care that would be most suitable for you. You will hear the panel's recommendations on the day of the panel. The final decision can take up to 10 working days from the date of the panel.

Step six - approval

The good news is if you are approved, we can then start the process of matching you with your first placement. Do not worry - we will continue to support you through this and throughout all your following placements, with ongoing training, regular events, support groups and experienced fostering social workers on hand. We are always on hand to ensure our foster carers are supported by a fantastic and knowledgeable team around them.

Ready to take your first steps into fostering?

Want to keep in touch?

We run regular fostering information session events, which are a great way to chat with our team over a cuppa and ask any questions you may have.

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