Foster parent checks and references

What foster parent background checks are carried out when you apply to become a foster parent?

As part of the fostering application process, we’ll carry out a number of important and vital checks and references.

These include:

Disclosure and barring service.

Disclosure and barring service, also known as a DBS check, (formally CRB) for every individual who’s over 18 and living within the fostering household. We may also need to complete a DBS on some adults outside of your household, who may be in regular contact with a child in your care.

Local authority check

Local authority – we will undertake residency checks for the last ten years, or longer if needed. We will also make enquiries to local authorities and their child protection records (including previous involvement with services for children or vulnerable adults).


Health medical assessment – a medical report will be completed by your GP. This report will highlight any health conditions that may affect your ability to care for children and young people. Having an underlying medical condition won’t automatically disqualify you from becoming a foster parent; it will completely depend on how you manage your condition.

Home assessment

A member of our friendly local team will carry out a full safety check on your home to ensure the environment is safe, secure and well maintained for children and young people. We may offer some recommendations and offer advice to ensure your home will be ready for fostering a child.

Pet assessment

We know that pets are part of your family too. Animals can help children to relax and settle into a new home, but we do need to make sure there is no risk involved. We’ll complete a pet questionnaire to help us determine whether your pet is safe to be around foster children. We cannot accept applications from anybody who has a banned breed in the UK, as part of the Dangerous Dog Act.

Evidence of citizenship

If required you will be asked to provide the necessary evidence.


In addition to the checks we will also need references from people you might know in a personal or professional capacity which include:

Frequently asked questions

How long does the fostering application take?

The length of the application process can vary, but it normally takes around four to six months. We’ll guide you through every step of your journey and keep in regular contact with you throughout the process.

Do I need any special qualifications or experience to foster?

No not at all, PHD, GCSE, o-level or no level we will give you all the training you need together with ongoing development and support.

Learn more about the fostering process

Does it cost me anything to apply?

No. It is free to apply to be a foster parent – bags of enthusiasm and dedication are all you need!

Will I be employed by FCA, or self-employed?

Foster parents are classed as self-employed which means you’re entitled to tax relief on your income. You could pay very little or no tax or national insurance, depending on your own financial circumstances.

More FAQs

Got some more questions?

Find out the answers here.

View FAQs

How can we help?

Ready to start fostering a child or young person? Or just want a bit more information to help you decide whether fostering is for you? All you need to do is contact us.

The company takes the requirements of GDPR seriously in ensuring the privacy and lawful processing of personal data provided to us by you. Please view our privacy notice which explains how the company will manage and use your personal data. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

By using this form you agree with the storage and handling of your data by this website.

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

Live chat

Have a chat with one of our dedicated fostering professionals

Chat Now

Visit an office

We are always happy for you to pop in for a chat

Find a team