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Updated by Beth Pembrook on Jul 05, 2017
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5 Steps to Become A Foster Carer

Becoming a Foster Parent is a lengthy process, but well worth the time and effort. Here are the steps you need to take.


Make an enquiry

Make an enquiry

If you are interested in finding out more about becoming a foster carer, the first step is to make your initial enquiry to a private fostering agency or your local authority.

Who Can Become A Foster Carer?

Find out who can become a foster carer and what requirements are needed here.


Home Visit

Home Visit

If, once you have had a chat with either the local authority or an agency, and you are happy that fostering is right for you then someone will arrange to come and see you in the comfort of your own home. They will answer any questions that you may have thought about since our chat and discuss what happens next into this process. They will also take this opportunity to gather some basic information about you and your family, such as where you have lived and a brief summary of your life experiences. The main aim is to get a good feel for you and your home environment and also to give you an idea of life as a foster carer and what you can expect.


The Social Worker Gets Involved

The Social Worker Gets Involved

If everything went well with your home visit and both parties are happy to proceed then you will be allocated a Social Worker who will start and complete your assessment to become a foster carer

They will visit your home usually around 8 to 10 times over a 3-4 month period, to gather as much information as you can remember about you and your family.

There are two stages to this process; the first being about gathering :

  • references,
  • medical checks,
  • police checks
  • general safety checks.

The second stage involves more in-depth checks and discussions about your family history.

All of this information is put together, with the information you gave at the initial home visit, and it forms what is known as a Form F Report.

This report is to give people an insight to you and your family; there is no right or wrong way and no-one is here to judge as everyone has had different life experiences and that is what makes people great foster carers.

(This is your time also to ask lots of questions, the more the better!)


Skills to Foster course

Skills to Foster course

Before you can be approved as foster carers and as part of your assessment you will need to attend what is known as a Skills to Foster course.

This is a training course spread out over a couple of weeks, aimed to give you as much information about fostering as possible. You'll learn about what you can expect, what is expected of you, and the types of children/young people you will get. It is more of a preparation to fostering.

Here you will also be with other people going through the same process so it gives you a chance to find out how others are getting on it there fostering journey.


The Panel Meet

The Panel Meet

Once the Form F Report has been completed, you will sit down and go through it with your Social Worker to make sure you are happy with it and you will be invited to attend the next panel meeting.

This is where your Form F will be discussed, with your Social Worker prior to you going in, then you will be invited in and asked a few simple questions about your Form F and a decision will be made as to whether or not you will become foster carers.

It sounds very scary but it isn’t honestly, we are with you every step of the way and we will always try to put you at ease.

Your Social Worker will be with you to give you any support you may need.




The panel members will make a recommendation about your approval to the Agency Decision Maker and it is their job to make the final decision!