Steps to fostering

The process from initial enquiry to approval as a foster carer takes around 6 months depending on your individual circumstances.

Step 1: Initial enquiry

Give us a call or make an enquiry. A fostering advisor will be on hand to chat at a time convenient to you. This is a great opportunity for you to have all your questions answered and find out lots more about fostering.

Step 2: Getting to know you

Following an initial chat with you over the phone, we will establish if it's the right time to visit you at home. This visit is an excellent opportunity for us to get to know one another a little better and discuss fostering and your family in more depth.

Step 3: Training

To prepare you for the role you will need to attend our pre-approval training, Skills to Foster.

The course is designed to help you and your partner, if you are fostering as a couple, to learn about fostering and the differing needs of the children and young people you will be caring for. Skills to Foster will provide a fun, interesting and insightful opportunity for you to find out as much as you can about the role of the foster carer.

The training is a good opportunity to ask questions, find out lots about fostering as well as getting to know other prospective carers at a similar stage in the process to you in your local area.

Step 4: Assessment

This involves your assessing social worker visiting you several times to get to know you, your family, your home and your experiences to make sure you can offer a child security, stability and safety. We will do some checks, such as a DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check and medical check.

The social worker writes a detailed report covering all the information you have shared, outlining your abilities and attributes.

Step 5: The fostering panel

Your detailed application report, written by your assessing social worker, will be presented to the fostering panel. Its members may have a relevant qualification, experience in adoption or fostering, or may have spent time in foster care themselves. You will be encouraged to attend the panel with your assessing social worker.

The panel decides whether to recommend your approval to the Agency Decision Maker, who then considers their recommendation to reach a decision. You will then receive a letter confirming this.

Step 6: Matching and placement

Once you’ve been approved, the matching process will begin. You will be contacted by the fostering team to discuss a placement that is right for you, your family and the foster child.

Step 7: Ongoing development and support

You will receive ongoing support and guidance from your supervising social worker. You will also receive support from a buddy carer. We have a full training programme and lots of courses for you to choose from, which will encourage your learning and development, as a foster carer for Kirklees Council.