Welcoming your
first child

Once you’re approved, we'll work hard to match you with a child who we believe will suit you best. We have excellent relationships with the local authorities we work with and receive hundreds of referrals every day, so you may be caring for a child almost immediately, or you might need to wait a little while until we find a child that matches your skills and preferences. 

Matching you with your first child

The key to a successful fostering experience is expert matching. To give the best experience to everyone, including you, your family and the children you welcome into your home, we always take great care with this, but it’s especially important for the first child you care for.

Before the child comes to stay with you, we'll try to arrange a first meeting with the child so you can get to know each other a little before the placement begins. You'll also create a ‘family book’, which includes pictures and notes. We give this to the child so that they can learn a little bit more about you. And then, the big day arrives and you’re off on your first day as a foster carer.

Welcome to fostering - one of the most rewarding experiences you’ll ever have.

How does the matching process work?

There are a number of steps involved in placing a child with a foster family...

  1. Your digital profile - working with you during the assessment, we’ll create a digital profile of you as a foster parent and we’ll expand this over time as your skills and experience develop.
  2. Receiving a referral - local authorities will send us a referral for a child who needs a foster home. This referral covers their past experiences, needs and details of any complex behaviours.
  3. Careful matching - our dedicated referrals team will review the referral and try to find a suitable match with one of our vacant foster families. They'll look at a number of things, including your location, personal preferences, skills and experience.
  4. Your feedback - once we think there’s a potential match, we'll discuss the child with you. We'll try to find out as much as we can about the child at this stage and can try to find out anything specific that you would like to know. It's really important that you're completely open and honest with us at this stage and if it doesn't feel right, you shouldn't feel guilty about saying 'no'. We will completely respect your decision.
  5. Local authority decision - if you'd like to be put forward to care for the child, then we'll send your profile to the local authority. They'll look at your profile, alongside any other potential foster parent profiles, to decide who's best suited to the child.
  6. Match accepted - if they accept, we’ll begin to form a plan with the local authority. Working with your own dedicated social worker, you’ll be involved at every step of this process. There’s plenty of support available throughout. We do everything we can to make the experience easy and hassle-free.
support birth children when fostering children

Supporting your birth children

If you have your own children, this is always a big consideration and we’ll talk about it in-depth during the assessment process.

However, the fostering experience is often great for the birth family members too, giving them an insight into other lives as well as strong friendships for life.

Find out more

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Finance & Allowances

Foster parents receive a generous fostering allowance, designed to recognise their professionalism and commitment, as well as other benefits.

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Preparing for your first child

Some of our foster parents share some of their best advice on how to prepare for your first foster child, including creating a family book, decorating the child's bedroom and more.

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The first day together

Our foster parents share some of their advice on some of the most important things you should do on the first day with a foster child to help them settle.

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Speak to our team today

By phone

One of our team is available to talk to you over the phone to answer any of your fostering queries.

0800 369 8513

Live chat

Have a live chat online with one of our dedicated fostering professionals

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Your local office

We have local teams covering most of England. Find your local office today.

Find local team