All sorts of people can foster. As long as you have some life experience, a spare room and the time and the energy to look after a child, we want to hear from you. If you are interested please email
firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll call you back, call 0118 974 6204 (select Children’s Services option) or come to one of our information events.
Becoming a foster carer - the approval process
All foster carers go through an assessment process and you'll get lots of support and training throughout the process.
Step 1: Initial enquiry
Contact us by email, phone, complete our enquiry form or attend one of our information events. We will ask you about your circumstances, including your reasons for considering fostering.
Step 2: Informal home visit
If you decide that you want to find out more, a social worker from our fostering team will visit you at home.This is an informal two-way discussion and at this exploratory stage you are not committing yourself to anything.
Step 3: Skills to Foster preparation course
This is an introductory training course that you'll attend to find out more about a foster carer's role:
- Courses are run regularly throughout the year and provide an in-depth understanding of your role and responsibilities as a foster carer
- If you are married or have a partner, you will both attend all sessions. Attending this course will form part of your assessment
Step 4: Assessment
During the assessment, a qualified social worker will visit your home on several occasions. They will talk with you about a number of things including:
- Your life experiences
- Motivation for fostering
- We will undertake a variety of statutory checks (including checks with the Disclosure and Barring Service), local authority and your GP)
- Collect personal references from people who know you
Step 5: Fostering Panel
The Fostering Panel is a group of fostering professionals who meet to talk about and consider your assessment.
Your social worker will present your report and you'll be invited to attend.
Step 6: Approved foster carer
When a child requires a placement, you will be matched depending on the needs of the child and what type of fostering suits you best. Your social worker and other services offered by our team will continue to support you throughout your time as a foster carer.