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How to Become a Foster Parent

Becoming a foster parent is a profound decision that can transform both your life and the life of a child or young person. The process, though detailed and rigorous, is designed to ensure that both foster children and foster parents are prepared for the unique challenges and rewards that come with fostering. This guide aims to provide a comprehensive overview of how to become a foster parent. If you’re looking for more detailed information on a specific topic, our website is full of such information. We have pages and blog posts on a wide variety of topics from how to foster a child through to final stages of becoming a foster parent and the ongoing support and guidance you will receive from us at Family Fostering Partners.

Understanding Fostering

Fostering offers a safe and nurturing environment for children and young people when they cannot live with their birth family due to various reasons such as family breakdown, abuse, or ill health. Fostering is different from adoption; it is often a temporary arrangement, providing care and stability during a critical time in a child’s life. With fostering, the legal responsibility typically remains with the local authority and/or the birth parents.

The Process of how to become a Foster Parent.

  1. Initial Inquiry: The first step towards becoming a foster parent involves reaching out to a fostering agency like Family Fostering Partners. You can contact us via phone on 0330 0948816, email at info@familyfosteringpartners.co.uk, using our online chat feature below, or by visiting our Contact Us Page. A friendly team member will guide you through the initial stages, answering any questions you may have on how to foster a child.
  2. Home Visit: A social worker from the agency will visit your home to discuss your interest in fostering in more detail. This visit aims to assess your suitability and readiness to provide a fostering environment. It's an opportunity to showcase your personality and discuss any apprehensions you might have.
  3. Application: Following the home visit, if you decide to proceed, you'll be asked to fill out a fostering application form. This form kicks off the formal assessment process.
  4. Assessment Process: The assessment involves a series of visits and checks by social workers to evaluate your suitability to foster. This stage typically takes between three to six months and includes gathering references, conducting background checks, and evaluating your home environment.
  5. Training: Prospective foster parents are required to attend a ‘Skills to Foster’ training course. This training provides essential information and prepares you for the realities of fostering. It's designed to be interactive and reassuring, helping to ease any concerns about returning to a learning environment.
  6. Fostering Panel: After the assessment and training, your case will be presented to a fostering panel. This panel, consisting of childcare professionals, reviews your assessment and makes a recommendation regarding your approval as a foster parent.
  7. Approval: Upon approval, you officially become a foster parent. The agency will then work closely with you to match you with a child whose needs align with your skills and preferences.

Why Become a Foster Parent?

Choosing to become a foster parent is a decision that comes from a desire to make a significant, positive impact on a child’s life. Foster parents offer love, stability, and a chance for children to heal and grow in a supportive environment. The reasons for fostering are as varied as the individuals who choose to embark on this journey. Some seek to extend their parenting roles, others have a spare room and love to give, and many wish to contribute positively to their communities.

Supporting Foster Parents

Family Fostering Partners emphasises the importance of support for foster parents. From the initial inquiry through to the matching process and beyond, foster parents receive continuous guidance and training. This support ensures that foster parents are not only well-prepared but also valued members of the fostering community. Additionally, all of our Foster Parents become members of FosterTalk, a not for profit organisation which offers even more training, guidance, information, and support.

Making the Decision to become a Foster Parent

Deciding to foster is not a step to be taken lightly. It requires commitment, patience, and a willingness to open your home and heart to a child in need. However, the rewards are immeasurable. Foster parents play a crucial role in providing a safe home for vulnerable children, offering them the care and stability they need during challenging times.

How to become a foster parent and join the Fostering Community

If you’re considering becoming a foster parent, Family Fostering Partners is ready to guide you through every step of the process. With a focus on community, support, and high-quality care we pride ourselves in ensuring that both children and foster parents have the best possible experience. Whether you’re ready to take the first step or simply looking for more information, reaching out to a fostering agency is the beginning of a potentially life-changing journey for both you and a child in need.


Becoming a foster parent is a journey filled with learning, growth, and the opportunity to make a profound difference in a child's life. By understanding the process, preparing for the challenges, and embracing the rewards, you can embark on this fulfilling path with confidence and support. Fostering is not just about providing a home; it's about nurturing, healing, and hoping for a better future for children who need it most.

If you would like to take the first step in becoming a Foster Parent you can get in touch by visiting our Contact Us page, by phoning us on 0330 0948816, by using our live chat feature, or by emailing info@familyfosteringpartners.co.uk.

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