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How to become a foster carer

Mother and child

There are five stages to becoming a foster carer. Once you are approved, we will match you to children who will fit the age-group you have selected.

You will receive the support of your own named worker, have access to 24 hour support and be able to access training and payments for as long as you foster.

Contact us for initial information and advice

Use the contact details below to get in touch with us:


What are the five stages?

1. Complete a registration of interest form

We will send you this form when you contact us. Return the form and one of our team will ring you to discuss fostering with you in detail.

Alternatively, you can fill in the online application form in the Quick Link above.

2. Receive a home visit

We will look around your home to make sure it is safe and welcoming for a child. We can tell you how to fix anything that may not be right. We'll discuss the pros and cons of you fostering with you, and anyone else who lives with you. We will also explain all the ways fostering will affect the way you live. If everything seems fine at this stage, and you are happy to go ahead, we will begin your assessment.

3. Assessment and preparation

Assessment takes around three to four months and involves weekly visits to your home. It also includes the Skills to Foster three-day course.

Your social worker will look at your ability to help children who have had a tough start to life. We will help you understand how separation from their birth family can affect children. And what you can do to make them feel at home with you. We train you to be able to deal with most situations that can arise. We'll also prepare you for saying goodbye when children move on. Fostering training is not like going back to school and there are no written tests.

Most people enjoy sessions with their social worker and the Skills to Foster course. You will meet other trainees who can become friends as you continue to foster.

4. Approval as a foster carer

Your social worker will prepare a report for the independent fostering panel. They will decide whether you can foster or not. They will invite you to attend and answer any questions panel members may have. Don't worry too much. We won't put you through to the panel stage unless we are confident you will pass! The vast majority of applicants are approved at this stage.

5. After approval, starting your journey

Following approval we'll match you to children who fit the age-group you have selected. We'll ring you and give you all the information about a child and ask if you want to foster them. If you are willing, we bring the child to your house and introduce them. We provide any bedding or other equipment you may need.

When you first start, people will be round to offer advice and help is always available 24 hours a day by phone.

You will receive the support of your own named worker and have access to 24 hour support. You'll be able to access training and payments for as long as you foster. We want fostering to be fun and fulfilling for you, but we know it can also be challenging at times. There will always be someone you can call.


How much do our carers earn?

We have a tiered payment scheme that reflects the age of the child you foster as well the skills and experience you bring to fostering. There are additional generous payments for carers for children aged over eleven as well as carers for siblings. We also provide extra financial support for a range of activities as well as for birthdays, holidays, and celebrations.

Our Leisure Fund can cover additional expenses relating to children’s hobbies, and sporting, cultural or educational activities. We also provide all the equipment you need to get started. Contact us for full details using the details below.


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Contact us 
Ring us: 0116 454 4500