About fostering

About fostering

Fostering offers children and young people a safe, stable and caring family home when they cannot live with their birth families anymore.


What is fostering?

Fostering involves caring for infants, children or young people who require a secure, stable family setting. Our foster parents keep children safe and help them succeed, no matter where they come from. Foster parents receive a generous fostering allowance, specialised training, and ongoing support from our fostering support teams.

At FCA, we grow stronger and better together, helping us improve the experiences of foster parents and the children they look after.

Could you foster?

Find out all the essential requirements
you need to become a foster parent.

See fostering criteria

Speak to us

Types of fostering

Foster parents choose the types of fostering they’d like to do, with guidance from their assessing social worker.

Who can foster

Who can foster a child?

We’re looking for enthusiastic individuals from all walks of life. You don’t need fostering experience, just a positive attitude and the determination to make a real difference to a child’s life. Plus you must:

  • Be over 21 years old
  • Have a spare bedroom
  • Have the legal right to work in the UK

Find out more

What’s the difference between fostering and adoption?

Fostering and adoption are completely different. Sometimes a child or young person may only need fostering for a few days, in other circumstances, care may be longer term lasting years, which is called a long-term placement.

Adoption is always permanent. The court transfers all the parental rights for the child to their new parents, the child can take the family surname and their new family is entirely responsible for their care. Another one of the main differences is adoptive parents do not receive financial support like foster parents do.

The fostering journey

The fostering journey

Making the decision to become a foster parent doesn’t happen overnight, but when you do choose to foster with us, you can rely on our support throughout the process.

You’ll complete six stages in your journey to becoming a foster parent. Depending on your circumstances, the process can take between four and six months. Although this may sound like a long time, it’s crucial that you’re given all the information you need, know exactly what to expect and understand what fostering means for your family.

See the process Get in touch

About fostering - Role of the foster parent

Role of the foster parent

Fostering is different to raising your own children, so it’s important to understand the fostering process and what fostering can be like. Foster parents provide children with their every day care whilst supporting all aspects of their health, education and well-being needs.

In addition to this, foster parents attend meetings, appointments, and keep records on behalf of the child. Often foster parents also help facilitate contact with the child’s birth family.

When you foster a child or young person, their birth family or the local authority is still legally responsible for them. Usually, a child is in foster care until he or she turns 18.

There are many different kinds of foster care, as every child’s needs are different. Whether it's overnight or for a number of years, we can help you decide what option is best for you and your family. As foster parents you can provide the stability and care in a loving environment that every child needs. When you decide to become a foster parent, you will be assessed, approved and trained by us, and supported by a team of professionals.

Although your fostering journey will be hugely rewarding, it won’t always be easy, which is why we’ll give you all the guidance you need to settle in to your new way of life and make it successful.

Training for foster parents


We are committed to providing high-quality training that is accessible and relevant to all of our foster parents.

Read more

Fostering Training

24/7 Support

When you join us, you’ll be joining our community with access to one of the greatest fostering support packages out there! You really are never on your own because at FCA we really are family.

Read more

foster children playing

Finances and allowances

Our foster parents deserve to be rewarded for their hard work. That’s why we offer generous and competitive fostering allowances and payments.

Read more

Frequently asked questions

What is fostering?

Fostering is providing a safe and stable family home for a child or young person who can’t live with their birth family. There are many reasons why children need foster care.

Learn more about fostering

Who can apply to become a foster parent?

Anyone can apply to foster with us. We welcome foster carers from all walks of life; no matter what your gender, age, race or sexual orientation. We do have criteria though:

  • You need a spare room
  • You need to be over 21
  • You ideally need to commit to fostering full time
  • You need to have British Citizenship or indefinite leave to remain

Learn more about the fostering process

What is the process of becoming a foster parent?

Applying to become a foster parent involves a number of steps and starts when you contact us.

  • Get in touch

We’ll have a chat to you talk to one of our friendly fostering advisors by calling 0800 023 4561 or filling in our enquiry form.

  • We’ll visit you at home

We will arrange for one of our fostering advisors to visit you at home to talk to you in more detail and what to expect and how we will support you and find out a bit more about you.

  • Start your application

If you decide you’d like to apply to foster with us, we’ll start you application process.  The process involves filling in an application form and once accepted we will then undertake your fostering assessment.

  • Fostering assessment

Following your application we’ll undertake a fostering assessment.  Your assessing social worker will visit you and your family at home a number of times to speak to you and collect information about you and your life.  It will help us to understand more about you.  In addition you will attend a preparatory training course to help you learn more about fostering and how to handle different situations.  The assessment process takes between four to six months.

  • Meet the panel

Once your assessment is finished you will go to a fostering panel who will make their recommendation.  The group is made up of people with fostering experience.  Your social worker will help you prepare and be there for support. Read our blog about panel to help you understand.

Once approved the real fostering journey starts!

Learn more about the fostering process

What training will I receive as a foster parent?

We pride ourselves on being a learning organisation and are proactive in helping both our foster parents and employees to develop their skills, knowledge and experience.

We are committed to providing high quality training that is accessible and relevant to all of our foster parents.

Learn more about our training and development

More FAQs

Got some more questions?

Find out the answers here.

View FAQs

Speak to our team

Whether you’re ready to start your journey or just want to chat to one of our friendly fostering advisors, get in touch with us today.

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Can’t find what you’re looking for?

By Phone

Call a member of our friendly fostering team and they'll be able to answer all your questions

0800 023 4561

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Have a chat with one of our dedicated fostering professionals

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