Foster A Child In The UK

Your first foster child

Here at FCA, we know that once you’re an approved foster parent, you’ll want to have your first child as soon as possible.

Working together to become stronger

During the assessment process, we’ll really get to know you and your family and will develop a strong profile about your strengths and the children who will be a good match for you. This will help the local authority to select you as the preferred foster parent for a child or young person.

In some cases, once you are matched to a child, we’ll be able to introduce you to them in advance, giving you the opportunity to have a chat and get to know them. You’ll also get to prepare a welcome booklet for the child with pictures of you, your family and your home. This will help bring you and your family to life for the child before their placement begins.

You’ll be made fully aware of the child’s history and why they are in the care system. We’ll provide you with all the support you need to do your best with the child and will always be there for support and guidance, as and when you need it when fostering children.

We also like to put our new foster parents in touch with more experienced foster parents for further support and advice; they work as great mentors and provide invaluable help to guide you through the early stages of your fostering journey.

Support for foster parents

You’ll be provided with telephone numbers of your local team who’ll be there to help and support you 24 hours a day, seven days a week whether you have a question or would just like a chat!

We will be here every step of the way to support, answer any questions and guide you through the exciting journey of becoming a foster parent.

child with foster parents

Welcoming your foster child

It is important to remember that welcoming a foster child into your home for the first time can be a both an exciting time and nervous experience for any foster family. But if you feel worried or apprehensive, can you imagine how your foster child will be feeling?

So, where possible, you will need to prepare your home for the arrival of your foster child to make it a welcoming and safe setting. We will help you understand how to prepare for your first foster child. Some points to consider are to ensure you have child friendly food such as fish fingers, chicken nuggets, as well as basic toiletries such as tooth brush and hair brush, and a clean and tidy home for when the child arrives.

Being organised and prepared will enable your foster child to settle in as quickly as possible and create a good positive first impression on the first day with your foster child.

Frequently asked questions

How long will I have to wait for my first child?

You can begin fostering right away, across FCA we receive hundreds of referrals daily. Our placements team will always try and match you, your family and the child based on your approval criteria and preferences.

The time in between getting approved and having your first foster child will vary from foster parent to foster parent. Other factors such as number of referrals in your area, needs of children and if you are able to meet these as well as your personal preferences are also a consideration.

How does the matching process work?

The key to a good match is building a strong relationship with our foster parents, in order to get to know them and their family. When we receive a referral for a child we look at their needs and requirements and consider for example if the foster carers skills, experience, location, contact requirements and culture are a good match, of course there are many other aspects to consider.

Our placement teams then share potential foster parent matches with the local authority social worker. The more time we spend getting to know our foster families, the more we can highlight their skills and experience to the local authority social worker, ensuring the right match and the best outcomes for the child and foster family.

How much will I know about the child or young person?

We try to give you as much information as we can when we discuss a potential child or young person coming to live you.  All the information we have is provided by the local authority, and we’ll try and find out as much as possible to help you decide whether to accept or not.

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.

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