Application process

Read about the different stages of the application process below:

Call 03000 420002 to request an application pack and speak to one of our advisors.

You can also request a call back.

Once we have spoken to you, we will send out an application pack.

Complete the pack and return it to us by post.

The whole assessment process takes up to 8 months and we are here to help if you have any questions at any stage of the process.

  • Once we have received your completed application form, one of our fostering social workers will be in touch to arrange to visit you in your home. They will talk you through the fostering process and answer any questions you might have.
  • After the visit you and the fostering team leader will decide whether to proceed with your application.
  • If your application is accepted then we will ask to provide 6 personal referees references, 1 of which can be a relative.
  • We will ask for references from employers, schools and health visitors where appropriate and complete a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check
  • We will carry out Statutory Checks.
  • You will have a full medical with your GP, which is paid for by the health service.
  • You will attend the 'Skills to Foster' course to prepare you for fostering.
  • Your fostering social worker will speak with all your family members, together and individually. This part of the assessment can take around 4 months and will involve about 5 visits to the family home.
  • We will contact 6 of your referees by letter and 3 will be personally interviewed.
  • We will write to and interview any adult children you have.
  • If appropriate we will contact any ex-partners.
  • A senior fostering social worker may contact you for an additional visit.
  • Your fostering social worker will write an assessment report for you to sign.

Already a foster carer?

If you're transferring from another fostering agency you may be eligible for fast track assessment. Please call us on 03000 420 002

We will present your assessment report to a fostering panel. The panel will then make a recommendation to a decision maker based on the information about you.

  • The assessment report written by your fostering social worker will be presented to a fostering panel. The panel is made up of an independent person, an approved foster carer, social work managers and a county councillor. You will be invited to attend the meeting to clarify any queries the panel may have.
  • The panel will then make a recommendation to a decision maker, whose final approval will be required. This can take up to 2 weeks.
  • If you are approved, you will be visited by a member of the fostering team and asked to sign a contract which will set out the terms and conditions of your registration.

So what happens next?

  • We will allocate you a fostering social worker and a foster carer "buddy". They will be there to guide you and offer support.
  • We will then begin work on matching you with a child.
  • Once we have found a child that we think will be a suitable match for you we will contact you with some information about them.
  • Your fostering social worker will bring the child to your home and make visits all the time the child is living with you.
  • We will offer you supervision and support, and help is at hand out of hours if you need it.
  • Training and support are available as part of your personal development plan to support you through your journey with your foster child.