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How Long Does it Take to Become a Foster Carer?

Many who are new to fostering ask us "How Long Does it Take to Become a Foster Carer?" or "What are the stages of becoming a foster carer?". It roughly takes between 3 and 5 months to become an approved foster parent with Family Fostering Partners. Our core focus will always be the children and young people that require care, that’s why our assessment process is thorough and takes some time! Our dedicated social workers will be on hand to guide you through every step of the process from initial enquiry through to your first placement, and beyond. 

Choosing to foster is not an overnight decision. For some prospective foster parents, fostering is something they’ve always felt they wanted to do and they may have had it in the back of their minds for a long time. You may already have an idea of how long it take to become a foster carer through researching and chatting to different agencies. 

For others, the possibility of fostering is a new idea they want to pursue based on a desire to give back to the community. ‘How long does it take to become a foster carer’ and ‘what are the stages of becoming a foster carer’ are questions we are able to answer for you! Whatever your reason for choosing to foster, we want to make sure that you are certain of your decision and are prepared for what this rewarding role entails. 

First and foremost, our responsibility is to safeguard children and young people who fall under our care. That’s why we ensure that prospective foster parents and their families meet essential requirements and are suitable for the role. You can find out more about the necessary criteria for fostering are by clicking our ‘who can foster’ page. 

How long does it take to become a foster carer with FFP? 

The full journey from initial enquiry to approval can take up to 5 months. The process is thorough and intended to ensure that not only will the children be safe and cared for, but that you and your family will be happy in the role! 

It is important not to let fears about the fostering process discourage you from registering your interest. It may seem daunting, but everyone at Family Fostering Partners will be here to help you, answer your questions and reassure you. We want you to become a part of the team and will support you in whatever way we can. Your link worker will also be on hand throughout the entire assessment process should you have any worries or concerns. 

What are the stages of becoming a foster carer? 

  • Initial Enquiry
  • Home Visit
  • The Assessment Process
  • ‘Skills to Foster’ Training
  • Fostering Panel

You can find out more detail about each stage here

In answer to what the stages of becoming a foster carer are, following your initial inquiry, a member of the team will visit your home to provide you with more detailed information. Should you both wish to proceed, you will begin the assessment process. Your Supervising Social Worker will carry out various checks and collect more detailed information about you and your family. This information is compiled into a Form F document that is presented to a fostering panel. The panel will then make a recommendation based on your suitability to the Agency Decision Maker, they will have the final say in whether you are approved as a foster parent. 

Once approved, you will be prepared for your first arrival! Discussions will already have taken place regarding which type of child or children that would be most suited to your skills and depending on the demand, you may have a child placed with you straight away!  In other instances, it may take more time to match you carefully. We always endeavour to place young people with foster parents that are a good match and will suit their skill set. Plus, additional training and support are always available for foster parents who wish to broaden their fostering abilities. 

Becoming a Foster Carer today

We hope we've helped answer the questions "What are the stages of becoming a foster carer" and "How long does it take to become a foster carer". If you are interested in starting your journey to fostering, you can register your interest by getting in contact today. All it takes is one phone call, email or contact form submission to start your new adventure. Call 03300 948816, email info@familyfosteringpartners.co.uk or complete the contact form below! You can even head to our Facebook page to ask us a question!


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