Become a foster carer
If you decide you'd like to become a foster carer, we’ll support you at every stage of the process. The assessment process usually takes between 3 and 6 months, and is very much a two-way process. The thoroughness of the process ensures that everyone has enough information to achieve the best possible experience and outcomes for you, and the children you’ll be caring for.
Initially, we weren't sure if we would be accepted. The breakthrough came when we had a home visit from Sue who instantly put me at ease and reassured us that you're not looking for perfect people
Vicky, Foster Carer
What our foster carers say
Tina and Ashley
"We chose to foster with the council as we knew we wanted to look after local children" Read Tina and Ashley's Story
Tony and Vicky
"In four months the transformation has been amazing…it gives us that reward to show we’re doing well and that they are happy” Read Tony and Vicky's Story
When you decide the time is right for you to proceed, we’ll have a very informal chat over the phone to find out more about you and answer any questions you have.
Our initial visits normally involve one of our team coming to see you at home, to talk more in depth about the process, your thoughts around fostering and what's involved. We’ll provide all the information you need about the application process so you know what to expect.
During the pandemic we have been able to conduct these initial visits online via Skype / Zoom etc.. which isn't quite the same as meeting face to face, but we're getting quite good at it now!
We are committed to supporting you thopught the process and part of the preparations includes a two-day pre-approval training course.
'Skills to foster' gives a real insight into what being a foster carer, and a child in care is like. It is a great opportunity to meet other people going through the application process (virtually at the moment!) and learn and prepare in a supportive group environment.
Many of our foster carers are still in touch with people they met on their training days!
At this stage, your assessing social worker will work with you to complete the application form (referred to as a Form F). They will guide you through the process and talk in more detail about a variety of things like; your family, life experiences, work history, interests and skills and anything that will help us better understand the type of children you feel you would be best suited to fostering.
Family members, friends and your nominated support network are also be contacted at this point. We also complete all the necessary police and medical checks and obtain references.
Once your application is completed, we’ll send you a copy in advance of you attending a fostering panel along with your social worker (it's not as scary as it sounds!).
This is where a group of independent professionals review and discuss your application with you and will make a recommendation regarding your approval as a foster carer.
Once your are approved we'll soon be in touch about children who we need foster carers for, who we think would be a suitable match for you and any initial training requirements you have.
Then it won’t be long before you’re opening your home to a child or young person!
What can happen when you apply to foster
Foster carer Phil remembers when he and his wife first made an enquiry about fostering with Liverpool. They were approved 10 years ago and have since made an unbelievable difference to the lives of the children they've looked after.
There are no wrong answers!
Foster carer Phil speaks about going through the process to become a foster carer, and although it is very detailed with lots of questions, it's important to know there are no wrong answers.