The application and assessment process to become a foster carer takes around 5 to 6 months from when you first contact us.
1. Contact us
2. Application stage
We will visit your home to talk to you about fostering. We will ask you about your background and why you want to foster. We also need to take a look around your home to assess suitability.
If we think it's the right thing for you to foster, we send you an application form.
3. Assessment stage 1
Once we have received your application form we will carry out checks and references.
You will then be invited to attend the Skills to Foster training course. The course is a mixture of online and face-to-face sessions. The course will prepare you for what to expect when you start fostering.
We assign you an experienced foster carer 'buddy' who will support you through the process and your first year of fostering.
Stage 1 takes around 2 months.
4. Assessment stage 2
Your assessing social worker will visit you at home 8 to 10 times to gather information for the assessment, they will need to speak to everyone in the home.
Your social worker will complete an assessment report and share this with you.
Stage 2 lasts around 3 to 4 months.
5. Approval stage
You will attend a panel meeting with your assessing social worker. The panel will have read your assessment report and will ask you some questions. They will then advise whether you should be approved to foster.
The panel advises on whether to approve you and our Agency Decision Maker makes the final decision.
After this you will be an approved foster carer.
Files available to download
Sharing your information (PDF)
A leaflet for service users, their families and carers about what information we hold and how we share information.