How to become a foster parent
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.
During this time, we’ll get to know you and your family and consider the best types of placement for you. This ensures that we can offer you the training and support you need to succeed in your role.
When it comes to becoming a foster parent, it’s your personal qualities that count. So here at Foster Care Associates, we proudly welcome people from all backgrounds and all walks of life, regardless of your marital status, gender or employment status. If you’re unsure if you can foster, we’ve outlined what you do and don’t need to become a foster parent.
You can register your interest in becoming a foster parent with Foster Care Associates by calling us on 0800 434 6000 or completing our short enquiry form. We will talk to you about fostering and answer any questions you may have. During this stage, our dedicated Start team will get to know you and find out about your current situation and your plans for fostering. Our Start team are happy to answer any questions you may have about fostering and about becoming a foster parent with FCA.
2 Home visit
A fostering advisor will visit your home to give you more information, answer your questions and explain how we work and what we do to support our foster parents. Hopefully, we’ll then be able to send you an application form.
3 Fostering assessment
Once you’ve formally applied, one of our social workers will be in touch to start your fostering assessment. They’ll visit your home between 8 and 10 times to collect information about you, your family and any skills and experience you have that will help you with fostering. This information will be put together in a report called a Form F.
4 Preparation training
You’ll be invited to attend a four-day preparation course that will give you a full understanding of the fostering role and get you thinking about how you would react to some of the situations you may find yourself in when you become a foster parent.
5 Fostering panel
After your assessment has been completed, we’ll present your information to a fostering panel. The panel will then make a recommendation to a Foster Care Associates manager, who will make the final decision about whether or not you can be approved as a foster parent.
To help prepare you for your fostering panel day, FCA Service Manager, Steve Garside wrote a blog to answer the most common questions asked by prospective foster parents.
6 Fostering with us
Once you have been approved, your fostering career with us will begin! We’ll actively promote your skills to the local authority and match a child to both your experience and any preferences you have. We aim to provide you with your first fostering placement as soon as possible. We’ll be there for you every step of the way when you become a foster parent.