What's the process of becoming a foster carer?

Starting the application process to become a foster carer is a huge decision, and we want to make sure you feel ready for the next steps. With 24/7 support from our team and full training available, you can begin your fostering journey knowing we’ll always be here to help when you need us.

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The application process

Get in touch

The first step is to say hello! Don’t worry – we’re a friendly bunch. You can call, email, or start your application online. Our Recruitment Officer will then ask you a couple of questions, and see if there's anything you'd like to ask too. It's all about getting to know you a little better and making sure fostering is right for you.

Pop the kettle on

If you're happy to go on to the next step our Recruitment Officer will schedule a home visit. This is an opportunity to discuss any remaining questions you may have in person. We'll also check if your home is suitable for a young person.  We'll also leave an application pack with you. You can fill this in in your own time, or we can help – just let us know.

Fill in your application pack

Once we’ve received your completed application pack, we’ll start the necessary checks related to your application. This is where we'll perform identity checks, advanced DBS checks, and ask for personal references.

Meet your Assessing Social Worker

You’ll be assigned your own Assessing Social Worker, who will ask some more questions about your background; including education and employment history. This is a great opportunity to tell us why you’d make a brilliant foster carer.

The assessment part of the process is typically the longest and can take a few months depending on how long it takes to gather all the necessary information. But don't worry, it'll be worth the wait once you get to the next and final stage.

Panel day

When all the documents are ready, you’ll go to panel. This is where a friendly group of independent professionals check over your application, and ask any questions they may have.

The decision

The panel will provide a recommendation to the Agency Decision Maker, who makes the final decision based on all the evidence submitted. We’ll let you know within 12-working days whether you’re approved.

You're approved!

And that’s it! Once you become an approved foster carer with Unity Foster Care, you’ll be assigned your very own Supervising Social Worker, and before you know it, you’ll be welcoming a young person into your home.

Read what it's really like

If you'd like to read one of our carer's personal insights into her journey into fostering, including the different stages of the process, read Jenny's blog here.

Start your application

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Top tips from our team:

Starting the application process is a big decision, so it's only natural to feel overwhelmed. We recommend writing a to-do list and aiming to tick off 2-3 tasks a day, even if it's something small!

The team at Unity Foster Care are always here to help, so if you're finding the application process difficult, just give us a call on 0333 77 22 333!