How to become a foster carer – the application process explained
At Tree House Care, we have a simple, 6-step application process to becoming a foster carer, that begins with you getting in touch with us for the first time and ends roughly 6 months later, when you are approved to welcome a foster child into your home.
We don’t offer shortcut applications. We take the time to recruit the right people and then provide them with specialist fostering training and support so they are confident and prepared to foster.
Get in touch
Getting in touch with us is easy!
You can complete our enquiry form online
Email us at email@example.com
Contact us through our FaceBook page
Or give us a call on 0800 012 6507.
If you haven’t already done so, you may want to complete our ‘Can I Foster’ quiz, to find out if fostering is right for you.
Don’t worry, you won’t be signing up to anything or starting a formal application – we’re just here to give you more information and answer any questions you may have.
If you like what you hear, we’ll arrange a convenient time to come to your home. This is a chance to chat about fostering in more detail and for us to get to know each other. We’ll let you know what you can expect from the application process and fill in your application form if you’re happy to continue. The application form asks for basic information, such as your contact details, and a general overview of your current situation. But no pressure, if you’d prefer, we can leave the application pack with you, so you can fill it in on your own time.
Once we’ve received your completed application form, we’ll continue the application process by making identity checks, enhanced DBS checks and taking work and personal references. You’ll also have a medical check to make sure you are fit and healthy, and we’ll do a health and safety assessment of your home. We’ll then spend the next few weeks working together to complete your Home Study assessment. This is a detailed report that we will present to a panel so they can consider if you’re suitable to become a foster carer.
At any point you can pause the process or decide that it’s not for you – we’ll always move at your speed and want you to be completely comfortable!
Your pre-approval training includes a ‘preparation to foster’ training course where you will meet some of our existing foster carers. You may be paired up with one of these carers as your Foster Carer Mentor. We encourage you to ask your mentor as many questions as possible. They will always be honest and tell you the good, the bad and the ugly of fostering! It’s important you have as much information as possible to make sure fostering is right for you. You can also ask your mentor about us – we’re confident they’ll tell you everything you need to know about working with us.
Go to panel
To become a registered foster carer, we must present your Home Study assessment to a panel of independent professionals with a wide experience of children, who then consider your application. You and your assessment worker will attend the meeting to answer any questions they may have. Don’t worry, you’ll be prepared and supported throughout, and we wouldn’t take you to panel if we didn’t believe fostering was right for you!
“All panel members were kind and welcoming and helped me to feel at ease. I was given ample opportunity to share my views overall and in response to direct questions. Panel's feedback was positive and it was nice to hear the views that were shared about me, my application and my future as a foster carer.”
Recently approved foster carer
Hopefully, you’ll hear some good news about your approval in a couple of weeks and we will start getting you ready for fostering.
Your training and support won’t end there, you’ll have ongoing face-to-face and online training, monthly support groups and the opportunity to meet with our Trauma and Attachment Therapist regularly. See ‘How will I be supported as a foster carer’.
And that’s it – you’re ready to start your journey into fostering!
So if this sounds like something you’d like to explore, contact us today for more information.