At Orange Grove, we are dedicated to nurturing people and building long-lasting relationships with both our children and our foster parents. If you are committed to the same belief, then we want to hear from you.
Applying to become a foster parent with us is easy. All you need to do is complete our online form (or call 0800 369 8513), and we’ll get back to you quickly for a friendly informal chat. There’s no pressure to take things further, but it’s where your journey to becoming a foster parent begins.
How long does it take to become a foster parent?
On average, becoming a foster carer takes four to six months. The standard fostering process takes between 4 to 6 months. After an initial chat, if you want to take things further, there’s a standard 6-stage fostering process that we follow.
Enquire about fostering
Thinking about fostering? 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.
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.
Foster care application form
When you're ready to move forward with your fostering journey, you'll need to submit an application form. This will be reviewed by our assessment manager and if successful, you'll begin your assessment.
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.
Fostering 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.
Matching families with children
Behind the scenes, we’ll be working hard to match you to the right child. This could be pretty much straight away, or it might take a little while, but before long you’ll welcome your first child.
6 steps to become a foster parent
Here are the steps to becoming a foster family with Orange Grove. You'll also need to meet these basic requirements to become a foster parent:
- You're aged 21 or over
- You have a spare bedroom
- You have the legal right to live and work in the UK
- You're passionate about making a life-changing difference
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.
Some of the different types of foster care
There are many types of foster care each designed to meet the variety of needs of children in care. The application process is the same for all types.
You look after children for a night or two, a couple of months or up to 2 years while plans are made for their future.
You foster children who aren't able to return to their birth family. You'll usually care for them until they turn 18.
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.