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, where we learn a lot from each other. 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
Chris and Amanda
"You learn so much during the assessment process and that can really help with the decision". Read Chris and Amanda'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
Anna and Jamie, Daughter and Son of Foster Carers
"Jamie and I have a lot of pride, being part of a fostering family!" Read Anna'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 initial visits online via Skype / Zoom etc.. yo ensure we can still support people through the process.
Part of the assessment includes a three-day training course, to give you a real insight into what being a foster carer is like.
During 'Skills to foster' you'll hear from other foster carers and young people in care. It is also a great opportunity to meet others going through the application process and learn and prepare in a supportive group environment. (*These are currently being held online).
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 (you may hear it 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, before making 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, as well as discussing any initial training you'd like to go on.
Then it won’t be long before you’re welcoming a child or young person into your home!
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.