Starting My Fostering Journey

Starting My Fostering Journey

Get in Touch

How do I Apply to Foster?

Getting in Contact

The first step to applying to foster is simply by getting in touch, whether that is by email, phone call or a message on social media. Just let us know if you are interested.

The main information we need to know at the beginning is if you have a spare bedroom, are over twenty-five and if you can look after children. We will ask other questions and answer any you have so we can find out about you, and you can find out about fostering.

To start the first step, you can find all our contact information here



Your Initial Home Visit

After your initial discussion and presuming you are happy to move forward, we move on to the next step of organising to meet you in your home.

We both get to put a name to a face while we ensure your house and the spare room would be suitable for fostering. During the visit, we also will have an informal chat with you to go a bit deeper into your motivation for fostering alongside other questions, we know people can get nervous at this stage, but there is no reason to stress! We assure you everyone here will be friendly and helpful when they come to visit.


Your Fostering Assessment

If you are and we are happy to progress, you will be allocated an assessing social worker, who will do a mixture of home and virtual visits to complete what is called a Form F assessment. 

This stage takes the longest and is the most in-depth.  A Form F is a detailed report looking at your circumstances, your experience, skills and the support around you.

This is something everyone has to do in order to become an approved foster carer.

This form is thorough but for good reason. We need to prioritize the welfare of the child and be as close to certain as we can that the child is being placed in a safe, nurturing environment.

You will also have to undergo checks and references, such as a DBS ( police) check and a medical.

If you have a trace on your police check, it does not mean you can't foster.  But we will need to explore this more as part of your assessment.

This process can be as quick as 12 weeks  depending on if you have fostered before, how quickly the Form F is completed and other factors, such as how quickly your references and checks are returned. We will be supporting you during the entire process so whenever you need help, we will be able to advise you.


Beginning Your Foster Carer Training

Part of your assessment will include a three day Skills to Foster training. We know you will not learn everything in three days, but you should gain essential skills and insight into what is required of foster carers.

The training will cover topics such as:

  • Why children go into care
  • Why foster care is needed
  • How early difficult experiences affect young people
  • Identity
  • Working and communicating with others
  • Being part of a professional team
  • Learning to care for and keep a child safe

You can find out more about the initial and the following training here on our training page



Attending Your Fostering Panel

This is the final stage before a child can be placed with you. When you attend the fostering panel, it means you have completed the training and your Form F Assessment and all your checks are back satisfactorily.

A fostering panel is made up of independent people from various backgrounds including, health, education and the police.  They read your Form F beforehand and then they get to meet and ask you questions.

There are no set list of questions, but they might have some things they just want to know more about.  So if you are a applying as a single foster carer, they might want to know more about your support network. 

It is normal even for experienced carers to feel nervous about panel, but if you have got this far, you should have nothing to worry about. If all goes well, panel will provide us with a recommendation to approve you as a foster carer.

If approved, you will sign a foster carer agreement, and have a proper induction process to be part of the Homefinding & Fostering team.  You will be allocated a supervising social worker, and our placements team will do a vacancy support visit, so they get to know you better which helps them match you to a child needing a foster family.

Almost all of our foster carers say they wish they had applied to foster sooner, so get in contact today and become part of the next generation of carers so desperately needed.


Client Testimonials

“They are always there for me even if I don’t know it and love me unconditionally”

Foster Child, Maidstone, 2021

"It is the best place in the world and nothing could make me leave”

Foster Child, Maidstone, 2021

“My supervisory home visits have always gone well, she is very supportive and gives me good advice, she is always ready to listen. I could not have asked for a better service.”

Foster carer, Gillingham, 2021

“My supervising social worker is always on hand and ready to listen and help. She arranges help when needed and will arrange someone to help me when needed also this includes respite and someone to take the girls out to help give me a break as a sole carer”

Foster carer, Gillingham, 2021

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