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How long does it take to become a foster parent? 

There are five primary steps in which everyone will need to take in order to become a foster parent.

October 7 2020 - 5 min read

Fostering a child or young person is one of the most rewarding things you can do, but deciding to become a foster carer is a decision no one should take lightly. Serious thought and consideration should be taken into account when deciding to foster a child.

Everyone involved should consider the implications of what becoming a foster parent entails, how it will affect your life and those close to you. Spending time to completely understand your daily routines, your work schedule, social life and how this will need to change, should be at the forefront of your mind before deciding to foster a child.

Once the decision has been made and you are confident that fostering a child is right for you, the duration from initial enquiry to being an approved foster parent can take up to between four to six months.

The Fostering Process

There are five primary steps in which everyone will need to take in order to become a foster parent. From your initial enquiry, multiple home visits will need to take place to complete your fostering assessment. The process is then concluded with your training, sitting in on a fostering panel day and finally promoting your fostering skills to the local authority.

These five steps can vary in duration, however, on average you can expect the fostering application process to be completed in four to six months.

Five steps to fostering...

Fostering Assessment Process

After receiving your enquiry, one of our advisors will come and see you to talk more about fostering, what you can expect and find out a bit more about you.  Once you have decided fostering is definitely for you, we will start your application together.  An assessor from Foster Care Associates (FCA) will work with you and your family throughout the assessment process. By visiting your home, the assessor will work with you to acquire information about you, your life and family history. This will also involve information about previous relationships and child care. They will visit approximately eight to ten times to collect all the necessary information about you, ranging from your mental skills to physical experience. The information collected will then be processed into a document which is known within the industry as ‘Form F’.

During the fostering assessment period you will undertake training and statutory checks such as a disclosure and barring service (DBS) check. This service is put in place to confirm whether you or any members of your household have any previous cautions or convictions. Between the assessor visiting your home, completing Form F and taking part in the disclosure and barring service, these five stages of the fostering process will take up the majority of the four to six months needed in order to become an approved foster carer.

It may seem like a long time, however, by now you should realise the importance and necessity to all of the steps we need to undertake in order to ensure you are a suitable applicant.  Throughout the whole fostering process FCA is there to support you.

Fostering With Us

When all of the fostering assessment has been completed you will then go to a panel to be approved as foster parents.  Once approved your fostering journey can officially begin and you will be ready for your foster child.

If any support is needed during any step of your fostering journey, FCA help, training and encouragement is only one call away. If you would prefer to contact us via email, please follow this link.  We are here to help every step of the way.

new foster carer

Are you thinking of fostering?

Download the FCA’s complete beginner’s guide to fostering a child. Find out more on how to foster a child and the process involved.


Benefits of working with FCA

24/7 local support, Excellent ongoing training and competitive allowances are just a few of the reasons why you should choose us for your fostering journey.

Why choose us

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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