Skip to main content

How to become a foster carer

How to become a foster carer

Starting with an informal chat with a friendly member of our team, you could soon be taking your first steps towards a new, rewarding lifestyle, creating positive futures for children with disabilities and complex medical needs.

Fostering makes me feel so happy and appreciate life more! – Laura, Foster Carer

Fostering Together's 3 simple stages

Your journey into fostering







From your initial contact through to your approval to foster and beyond, our experienced team will work hard to make your journey into fostering as smooth as possible.

Your application

Following an initial discussion with you about your interest in fostering, your journey begins with a home visit from one of our friendly team members.  You will learn all about the rewarding role of a foster carer and the application process.

I wish I'd known earlier that fostering was going to have such a positive impact on my lifestyle... and be so rewarding! – Paul, Foster Carer

We’ll meet with you in your home to discuss your interest in fostering and answer any questions you may have. We’ll make sure that your home environment is suitable and guide you through your application if we both decide the time is right.

One of our friendly assessors will meet with you to discuss your background, home, lifestyle and support networks.

Our preparation training will help to equip you with the knowledge and skills necessary for your fostering role.

Your assessment will be presented to our fostering panel and a decision will be made on your suitability to foster.

Once you are approved as a foster carer, our thorough matching process will ensure that the needs of any children referred to you are compatible with your skills and experiences. Your allocated social worker will liaise closely with you to ensure the best possible match and will arrange any necessary additional training.

What references and checks will we carry out?

As part of your assessment, we will need to make sure there is no reason why you might not currently be a suitable applicant.

Disclosure and barring service checks (DBS, formerly CRB) will be undertaken on anyone in the household over the age of 18.

You may still foster if you have a criminal record however it does depend on the type or nature of the offence. Please disclose any potential records early in your enquiry to avoid disappointment.

If you have lived abroad, we will also conduct similar/equivalent checks to the relevant countries' criminal record databases.

We carry out local authority residency checks for addresses you have lived at for the last ten years which include enquiries to local authorities and their child protection records (including previous involvement with services for children or vulnerable adults).

We will support you to attend a full Health and Medical Assessment to be completed by your GP. This will assess whether you have any health conditions that might affect your capacity to care for a child with additional needs. If you do have an underlying condition, you will not be automatically disqualified from fostering, and we will consider you manage your health at home. 

Your Assessor will complete a guided assessment and checklist to ensure that your home environment is suitable for a child with additional needs and is well-maintained for their best wellbeing. You may be set some requirements or suggestions to help ensure you are ready for a child to move in.

Pets are an important part of many families, and also can be fantastic therapy for young people in care. To ensure that there is no risk involved to a child with additional needs, a safety questionnaire will be completed.

We are unfortunately unable to accept applications from families who own a banned breed of dog under the Dangerous Dogs Act.

We will seek to attain a number of references from people you know and have worked with to give their opinion on your ability to care for children.

  • Personal References: 3 personal references for a single carer or 2 personal references each for a 2 parent household. Of these a maximum of 2 references total can be from people you are related to.
  • Employment References: We will seek references from current/most recent employers, as well as from any employment where you might have worked with children, young people or vulnerable adults.
  • Ex-Partner from Significant Relationship Reference(s): For any previous significant relationships (e.g. a partner you have previously been with for a period of over 1 year, or someone you have had a child with) we will need to seek a reference with your permission.
    Where this is simply not appropriate we can take alternative steps to seek an alternative reference, and this will be discussed in your assessment.

If you have children or young people under 18 in your care at home, there are additional references that we may seek from those who know them. We will ask for Educational References from their current school or college, and/or from any Nursery or Health Visitors involved in their lives.

Giving you the Skills to Foster

Before you are approved as a foster carer we’ll arrange a Skills to Foster training course which forms part of your assessment.

Course activities and discussions will cover the things you need to know, including the process of meeting and fostering a child, the fundamentals of record keeping necessary for your fostering role, safe care principles, and how we will support you on your journey. 

Don’t worry – there are no tests and the course will give you the opportunity to reflect on the impact fostering will have and prepare you for your role as a foster carer.

Skills to Foster

Why join Fostering Together?

Comprehensive Support

  • Wraparound support and advice available to you 24/7.
  • Priority access to specialists and professionals.

Training & Development

  • Free training and development you need to carry out your role.
  • Bespoke training according to the care you provide.

Excellent Pay & Benefits

  • Generous pay and benefits reflecting the importance your role.
  • Earn up to £700 per week for each child in your care.

Dedicated & Caring Team

  • A team with experience in fostering, healthcare and education.
  • Specialists in disabilities and complex needs.

We Celebrate Success

  • Regular community events and celebrations.
  • Opportunities to mentor and support others.

Helpful Technology

  • Free tablet computer to help with your fostering admin.
  • Access to our bespoke FosterKit online system.

Discover more about becoming a  foster carer...

Whether you are new to fostering, wanting to learn more about this challenging and rewarding role, or an experienced carer considering transferring to a supportive provider which shares your principles and values, please get in touch today.

Leave your details below for a FREE fostering information guide as well as access to our 25 minute video presentation: Discover a Rewarding Career & Fulfilling Lifestyle Fostering a Child with Disabilities where you will discover a comprehensive summary of our supportive service and how we work with you to create positive futures for children with disabilities.

Free Information Packs

We are only able to assess families who are permanent residents of the UK. We are still more than happy to still send you information or answer any questions you might have for potentially in the future!