How to become a foster carer

It’s great that you’re considering becoming a foster carer and making a positive impact in a child’s life.  

If you think you meet the fostering requirements and are familiar with the different types of foster care available, let us know you're interested in becoming a foster carer by completing our online form.

We’ll then contact you to begin the 4 stage application process.

On average it takes 6 months to become an approved foster carer. If you're transferring from another agency, we’ll fast track your assessment completing it in a shorter timeframe.

The application process

We will visit you and your family at home to talk about becoming a foster carer.

This is a chance for us to get to know you and your family better, and for you to ask any questions you may have.


We'll send you the fostering application form for you to complete and invite you to attend our local 3-day 'Skills to Foster' training course, where you'll meet experienced foster carers and a former fostered young person. 

During the assessment, you will have regular meetings with your assessing social worker, who will get to know you and your family. 

We will support you throughout this process, partnering you with an experienced foster carer to learn more about fostering.

The assessment involves: 

  • background checks on you, your partner, and anyone else in your household aged 18 and over, including a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check
  • references from previous and current employers, and personal references from people who know you well enough and can comment on your ability to foster care
  • your daily lifestyle and cultural background
  • any skills related to caring for children and young people

At the end of the assessment the assessing social worker will write a report, which will be presented to the fostering panel.

Attending the fostering panel meeting is the final step in the application process.

You and your allocated social worker will attend the fostering panel. While it may feel a little scary, please know that both the panel members and your allocated social worker will make this step as welcoming and comfortable as possible.

The panel is made up of people from diverse backgrounds, including professionals and independent community members, all with extensive experience in fostering.

The panel will make a recommendation about your approval as a foster carer.

A Chief Officer known as the Agency Decision Maker (ADM) within Children Social Care makes the final approval decision on your suitability as a foster carer.


Once approved, get your home ready and ensure you're well informed about the child's care plan and any specific details you might need.

We'll be here throughout your journey as a foster carer, providing resources and support to help you enhance your skills and wellbeing.

Start your fostering journey today

Make an enquiry

Telephone: 020 8359 6274

Join our information events

If you are interested in fostering and want to find out more, join us and other foster carers at our next information evening.

Join our next information event