6 steps to becoming a foster parent
The first step is to give us a call or submit your details through our online form. One of our friendly fostering advisors will give you a call for a quick informal chat and to answer any of your questions.
2. Home visit
We'll speak to you from the comfort of your home - either face-to-face or via video call - so we can get to know you a little better and give you all the information you need to know about fostering.
The assessment process involves a series of social worker visits, the collection of checks and references, as well as some initial training to give you the skills you need to hit the ground running.
5. Panel and approval
Once your assessment is complete, you'll attend a fostering panel where an independent group of individuals will review your assessment and make a recommendation on your approval.
Frequently asked questions
Who can apply to become a foster parent?
Almost anybody can apply to become a foster parent, as long as you meet the following basic criteria:
- You're over 21 years old
- You have a spare bedroom that's permanently available to a child
- You have the legal right to live and work in the UK
- You're passionate about making a life-changing difference to children in care
It doesn't matter if you're single, gay, married or straight and we encourage applicants from all ethnic backgrounds to join our team. The children we care for come from all walks of life and so we want a diverse community of foster parents to meet their needs.
You also don't need any experience or qualifications to apply as we provide you with all the training you need to be confident in your role. Although, you will find that some previous experience with children, either in a professional or personal capacity, is beneficial.
Do I need to have a spare room to foster?
What does the application process involve?
There are a number of stages within the fostering assessment, including:
- Social work visits with an assessing social worker – normally 8-10 visits across several months
- Background checks, including an enhanced DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service).
- Personal and professional references
- Training to prepare you in your role as a foster parent
All the information gathered throughout the process will be brought together in a Form F report and presented to an independent fostering panel, who will make a recommendation on your suitability to foster.
The process generally takes 4-6 months to complete, however, timescales may vary depending on your personal circumstances.
What checks are carried out?
We’ll carry out various checks, such as an enhanced DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service), local authority and health and safety checks, as well as collect a number of personal and professional references.
These checks and references are a vital part of the application process to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the children and young people we may place with prospective foster parents.
Got some more questions? Find out the answers here.
Ready to start your fostering journey?
One of our team is available to talk to you over the phone to answer any of your fostering queries.
You can get in touch by filling out our online enquiry form with any queries that you may have.
Your local office
We have local teams covering most of England. Find your local office today.