Step by step process to fostering a child
From your initial enquiry to becoming a foster carer - this process can take several months. Becoming a foster carer is an important decision to make, these steps are to ensure that we give you all of the support you need.
If you're ready to take the first step to become a foster carer, let us know. Start the process to become a foster carer.
When we receive this, we'll contact you to discuss fostering in more detail.
At this stage, you are not committing to become a foster carer, you are simply asking questions to see whether fostering is for you.
We will make an initial visit to your home to meet with you and your family, and find out more about you. We'll also talk about why you want to become a foster carer. This is also your opportunity to find out more about the process, and to ask us any questions you have about fostering a child.
Application and training
Application form: We'll give you a detailed application form. This will help us to begin your assessment. We will be able to take you through this application, if needed.
Prepare to foster course: Once we have your application, we'll invite you to our 'Prepare to foster' course. This course will give you more information about fostering, the children who need foster carers and how you can prepare for a child coming to live with you.
Initial checks: We will carry out initial checks to make sure that there are no concerns about you caring for a child. These include police, medical and personal references.
Fostering assessment: We'll assign a fostering social worker to work with you and complete your fostering assessment. They will visit you regularly to get to know you and assess your suitability to foster.
Completing your assessment: Your fostering social worker will write up all of the information from your assessment and share the report with you. You'll have a chance to make any comments.
Approval: Once your assessment is complete, it will be presented to the Fostering Panel. This is a group of people who specialise in fostering, including a foster carer, representatives from Children's Services and independent members. The panel will make a recommendation on your suitability as a foster carer. Following this, our agency decision maker, a senior manager, will make the final decision to approve you as a foster family.
Once you have been approved as a foster carer you'll be allocated a new social worker who will help you to prepare for a child coming to stay with you. Your social worker will continue to support you throughout, making sure you get the help and support that you need and identify any types of training that you might need to help you.