Thinking About Fostering

How long does it take to become a foster carer?

The process of becoming a foster carer usually takes 3 – 5 months.​

In this time your assessor will get to know you really well so that when you are approved, they know what type of foster children will fit in best with you and your family.

During the assessment process we want to get you to reflect on how fostering is going to impact you and your family. You’ll be invited to attend Skills to Foster training to help you practically prepare for your role as a foster carer and meet those also applying to foster.

Steps to become a Foster Carer

The process of becoming a foster carer is summarised below. Click each step for information to be displayed below. You will receive full support at all stages and help with anything you are unsure of.

01. Make an Enquiry

Call us on 0800 389 4448 for an initial discussion or complete our online enquiry form. A member of the team will get in contact to collect further information and arrange an initial home visit.

02. Initial Home Visit

A worker from Family First Fostering will visit to discuss fostering with you further, to gather some background information about you and your family and to check you have appropriate bedroom space in your home and discuss any other Health & Safety related issues. We will bring an application pack with information about fostering and document that are needed to fill out if the visit is positive. This can be completed later and send to us by post.

03. Application Form

Once this is completed and your application is accepted, a formal assessment will begin.

04. Fostering Assesment

The assessment process is called a ‘Form F’ assessment and it involves a review of your suitability to provide foster care. This will be undertaken by a skilled member of our staff and you will receive full support at all stages. As part of the process, you will be required to: 1. Provide references – both personal and employment 2. Undertake a medical check with your GP (paid for by us) 3. Consent to other checks with Local Authorities, schools or other agencies.

05. Skills to Foster Training

You will receive specific training through a three-day training course to prepare you to foster and to achieve “Skills to Foster”. Attending courses will also allow you to meet other carers, share experiences and learn more about foster care.

06. Panel

Following completion of your training and fostering assessment, the report will be submitted to an Independent Panel for approval recommendations to be made in terms of the numbers and ages of children that can be placed with you. You will be asked to attend the Panel with the social worker who completed your assessment.

07. Approved

The Agency decision maker will have the final decision regarding your approval. They will read all the paperwork from the assessment process and the panel minutes and make a decision. Once approved with Family First Fostering you will be allocated a Supervising Social Worker to help and support you.

Your fostering journey starts from the initial enquiry!

Apply To Become a Foster Carer