How to apply

Begin your journey to become a foster carer by filling in our short online enquiry form, or call us on 03000 42 00 02 between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday.

If you are new to foster care, we will endeavour to complete the process within 6 months. This will allow our team to do the following:

  • background checks
  • home visits
  • interviews with friends and family members
  • references
  • training and assessments.

Application process

Call us on 03000 42 00 02, or use our online enquiry form to register your interest in fostering. We'll collect some basic details about you and get the ball rolling by arranging a home visit.

We will visit you at home to get to know each other, meet members of your household and pets, discuss any risks, and answer questions you or your family may have about fostering for Kent.

Before we go any further, you'll need to complete an Enhanced DBS check which we'll pay for.

We'll conduct our own checks with Kent County Council and the councils for any other areas where you have lived in the last 10 years.

If your children, or any other child you have cared for, have ever been subject to a Child Protection Plan, legal proceedings or compulsorily removed from your care, you will not be able to be a foster carer.

We also check your employment history, which you'll need to provide for us, including explanations for any employment gaps.

You'll complete a private medical examination, which we will pay for, with a GP.

You will provide 6 personal references and depending on your circumstances we will also need references from your:

  • accountant
  • adult children
  • children's schools
  • current and previous employers
  • current partner
  • previous partners with whom you share children
  • landlord or mortgage lender
  • volunteer organisations.

You will attend preparation training called 'The Skills to Foster', which can be held virtually or at one of several training venues in Kent. This is usually for around three and a half days, is fun, interactive and gives you the chance to meet some of our young care leavers.

A social worker will visit and spend time with you to learn more about you and your family and prepare a fostering assessment. This will cover:

  • childhood experiences
  • education and employment
  • family life and previous relationships
  • motivation and ability to learn
  • parenting and caring experience
  • personality and hobbies
  • references and background check results
  • strengths and weaknesses
  • suitability for foster caring.

After training, you'll be paired up with an experienced foster carer to help navigate the rest of your application. When approved, your mentor will support you over the first 12 months of your fostering career and maybe longer.

You will be able to ask your mentor questions and they can attend your first fostering events with you.

Nearly there! The final step to become a foster carer is to attend our fostering panel with your social worker.

The Kent Fostering panel is made up of a range of different people with personal and professional experience relevant to fostering. The panel will make a recommendation on your fostering application, which goes to our Agency Decision Maker, who makes a decision about your approval as foster carers for Kent.

If you are not approved, you can make representation.

Congratulations! At this point you are now a foster carer!

We will work to match you with your first foster child. While you wait, we'll invite you along to regular training and support meetings to continue developing your skills.