Becoming a Foster Carer

Application and Assessment

Becoming an approved Foster Carer takes approximately six to eight months. During this time we will get to know you and your family to ensure fostering is right for you. 

Step 1: Contact Us

Call 01675 434 025 during office hours and one of our staff will take you through a few simple questions to check that you meet the criteria. If you’d prefer to apply online, please contact us and we will get in touch with you.

Step 2: Initial Visit

A member of the team will visit you to learn more about you and your family. We will tell you about the fostering process, the support we give and answer any questions you may have. At the end of the visit a decision will be made on your suitability to foster with us. If suitable, you will be invited to attend a three-day training course called Skills to Foster. Produced by The Fostering Network, the training will give you the opportunity to explore whether fostering is right for you.

Any children living in the household will also receive age-appropriate training and have the opportunity to explore what fostering means for them.

Please note: having a criminal record or a health problem does not prevent you from fostering, however it is important that you are honest with us.

Step 3: Assessment

Following successful completion of the training, you will be allocated a Social Worker to undertake an assessment. This will include visits to you and your family at home and will help us to build a picture of your strengths, skills and your motivation to foster. 

We will undertake a number of checks as part of our assessment, including:

  • A minimum of three personal references
  • Employment checks
  • School references (if you have children living with you)
  • Disclosure & Barring Service check
  • Medical check
  • Local Authority checks
  • Pet questionnaire and veterinary checks as required.

Please note: having a criminal record or a health problem does not prevent you from fostering, however it is important that you are honest with us.

Step 4: Fostering Panel

At the end of the assessment process, the information, evidence and analysis gathered will be signed by both parties and presented in a report to our Fostering Panel. This is a group of skilled and experienced individuals from a range of professional backgrounds.

Panel will then make a recommendation to approve you as a Foster Carer. The Agency Decision Maker will make the final decision. You will then be advised of the decision by your Assessing Social Worker.

Step 5: Training and Support

Once you have been approved, you will receive regular support from your Supervising Social Worker. We also offer regular virtual and face to face training, which includes:

  • Induction day for new carers (database training and recording)
  • Family Time (contact with birth family)
  • Safer Caring
  • Safe Handling and De-escalation
  • Internet Safety
  • First Aid
  • Attachment
  • Safeguarding/Child Protection
  • CSE: Child Sexual Exploitation
  • Managing Difficult Behaviour
  • Equality and Diversity

We also sign all of our Foster Carers up to The Training Hub who provide a number of online courses.