Become a Foster Parent

How to Become A Foster parent in england: a comprehensive guide

The decision to foster a child is a significant one, we know from experience that making the decision to apply to become a foster parent doesn’t happen overnight. Everyone who is considering becoming a foster carer needs the time to think about it and to consider the effect it will have on them and their family.

Additionally, at Family Fostering Partners, we recognise that many people will be new to fostering and may not know the details of how to become a foster parent or what the process entails. That’s why we are dedicated to guiding prospective foster carers through every step of how to foster a child, ensuring you have a thorough understanding and are well prepared for the responsibilities ahead. You can take as much time as you need to make the right decision. We will never rush or pressure you, but when you do make that decision to foster with us, we promise you will be fully supported throughout the process. 

This detailed guide is designed to provide detail on how to become a foster parent in England, and how we at Family Fostering Partners will support you through each stage from the initial inquiry to the joyous moment you become an approved foster carer.


Beginning Your Journey To Becoming A Foster Carer

The process to become a foster parent typically takes between 3 and 5 months, depending on your circumstances and factors such as whether you’ve got previous experience of being a foster parent. During this time, we’ll work with you to get to know you and your family, assess your suitability as a foster carer, and help you prepare for your new role. We’ll provide you with all the information you need to make an informed decision, and we’ll never rush or pressure you. Here are the eight steps to becoming a carer with Family Fostering Partners.

Step By Step Guide: How to Foster a Child in the UK

1. Research The Fostering Process

If you’re considering becoming a foster parent in England, it’s important to understand the different types of foster placements available. We’ve got dedicated webpages for each form of foster care available, from Long Term Fostering, to Short Term and more specialist provision such as Parent and Child Fostering. Having knowledge of each type of foster care will help you decide which will be best for you and your family, as always, we’re also available to help give advice to help you decide.

Transfer To Fostering In England

2. Contact A Fostering Agency

Once you’ve conducted your research, the first major step to become a foster carer is to get in touch with us. We can be contacted by completing the contact form below, by using our online chat feature which goes directly to a member of our team, by visiting our Contact Us page, or by calling us on 0330 0948816.

3. Initial Call

Once you’ve contacted us, we’ll schedule an initial phone call at a time which is convenient for you. This is an opportunity for us to get to know you a bit better, to understand your motivation for wanting to become a foster parent, and it’s also a chance for you to ask any questions that you may have about fostering.

4. Home Assessment Visit

After an initial call, if you would like to take the next step in becoming a foster carer, a team member from Family Fostering Partners will visit your home. This will be an opportunity for us to assess your suitability as a foster parent and to ensure that your home is safe and suitable for a child or young person. This will also be another chance for you to ask any questions that you may have about fostering and the process of becoming a foster parent. 

5. Fostering Application

If we both (you and us at Family Fostering Partners) decide to proceed, we’ll invite you to officially apply to become foster carers. Through one of our dedicated assessing social workers, we will guide you through the application process of completing all the necessary forms and checks.

Foster Care Training

6. Initial Training

Participating in our “Skills to Foster” training is essential. This program covers a broad spectrum of topics, including child development, safeguarding practices, and support for foster families, equipping you with the knowledge you need to begin to foster. Of course, this will just be your first introductory training program, we provide continuous training to our foster parents. Find out more about our ongoing training.

7. Fostering Panel

The culmination of the fostering application process is the review by a fostering panel, which evaluates your suitability and readiness to become a foster parent, offering recommendations for your approval.

8. The Matching Process

Once approved, the focus shifts to matching you with a child or young person. Our goal is to find a child who will benefit from your specific interests, skills, and experience. By getting to know you and your support network we can better match you with a child or your person, thus ensuring a harmonious and supportive placement. As always, we will continue to support you throughout your time as a foster parent.

Taking the Leap & Starting Your Fostering Journey

Becoming a foster parent is a rewarding decision that reshapes lives, offering a child or young person a nurturing and stable environment. Deciding to foster can also be scary, especially for those without any previous experience of fostering, however, we will ensure you never feel alone on this journey. We will provide you with a robust support network, comprehensive training, and a wealth of knowledge to empower you to become a successful foster carer. We hope that this page has provided you with more detailed information on how to foster a child in the UK. If you are ready to start fostering, we are always eager to talk to anyone who wants more information about becoming a foster carer. You can get in touch with us by completing the contact form below, by using our fostering live chat feature (to talk to a member of our team), by visiting our Contact Us page, or by calling us directly on 03300948816

Types of Fostering

Emergency Foster Placement

This type of placement involves being at hand to look after a child with very little notice. 

Short-term Foster Placement

Short-term foster care provides a stable environment for children who may be going through a difficult time..

Respite Foster

Respite foster care provides children with a change of environment..

Parent and Child Fostering

It is a specialist placement where a parent (often a mother) joins the home of a foster parent..

As foster parents it is really important for us to give the child or children stability and support. And that’s what FFP does for us. It gives us stability, support, training, and we really feel like part of a family, which is brilliant for us. The other thing it gives us is support and backup if things did go wrong. That was one of the things we were really worried about when we started the fostering journey, but we feel supported every step of the way, and would recommend FFP very highly.

CJ, Foster Parent

Thinking About Fostering?

Are you ready to take the first step towards becoming a foster carer? Fill out the contact form below. Our dedicated team will be delighted to assist and guide you.