I want to become a foster carer – what happens next?

Posted by / Friday 08 September 2017 / Fostering
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If you have a spare room, and you have what it takes to provide a loving caring environment for vulnerable children, then fostering could be for you.

But have you ever wondered what happens after you apply to become a foster carer?

Once you’ve hit the send button on your application, its over to our wonderful recruitment team who will work with you during the assessment process over 4 – 6 months.

This is when the team looks at your suitability and supports you throughout. Emma, a recruitment Social Worker, talks us through how the process works.


What happens in the assessment?

“The assessment part of becoming a foster carer is there to collect information about you and your household, and to undertake routine checks. It’s obviously really important that we have a good process there to make sure the children will get the love and care they need from their foster home.

We get to know the applicants and their families really well in the assessment. We do around  8 – 10 visits, sometimes more. Each visit can take up to 2 hrs. We ask various questions depending on the focus of the session. The questions could be around lots of topics like: personality and current relationships, or caring for children.   


In each of the visits we spend time getting to know the foster carer and the rest of their family, as well as the support they might have from people outside of their family and home.

It’s important we look into the foster carer’s family history and how that person was parented themselves. We spend a lot of time with the applicants because it’s important that it’s a two-way relationship. We want all applicants to know we’re here to support them as a fostering household, as well as making sure they’re fit for the job.

Once you apply to be a foster carer, there is so much support available. There is a 3 day training course called Skills to Foster which everyone has to do. Then after approval you have access to training and support groups right away.

We never want potential foster carers to feel like they’ve bene thrown in the deep end.

"Fostering has been really rewarding for us. If you are understanding and want to help children and young people get the best start in life then fostering is for you"

Derek & Sue, Foster Carers

What happens after the assessment?

So we’ve done our thorough checks and think you’ve got what it takes to make a great foster carer, what happens next?

Next up is the fostering panel, which you go to with you Social Worker. They will ask you some questions and make a recommendation based on this.

Then it’s down to the Agency decision Maker (which if you’re fostering with us, would be someone from the Fostering Team here at Action for Children) to have the final word on whether your application has been successful.     

After this you are officially a foster carer and you’ll be matched up to a child who needs you. Congratulations!


How do we match up foster carers to children?

We match foster carers to children based on lots of information including race, culture, identity, sexuality, disability, family history, previous trauma, care history, emotional and behavioural development, health, education, social presentation and self-care skills, which is obtained from the placing authority.

So if you've read all of this, and you're thinking "I could foster" then please get in touch!