Becoming a foster carer

Becoming a foster carer is a process of learning about each other, some formal training and signing off and starting to find a match for you. The whole process is about learning out what works best for your particular situation. At every step of the journey there is no obligation to start fostering.

It takes around 6 to 12 months to become a foster carer for the first time. If you’re transferring from another fostering agency (also known as an IFA), it will take less time.

  1. Learn more about fostering

    If you’re interested in fostering, give us a call for a chat or come to one of our events to meet other foster carers. 

  2. Meet a social worker to find out more

    A social worker will visit you at home to get to know you. You’ll discuss what arrangement is best for you and your family.

  3. Get references and do some legal checks

    We do safeguarding and reference checks on all potential foster carers.

  4. Attend a three day training course

    These three days will help you with the skills and knowledge you need to foster.

  5. Take a fostering assessment

    This is not a test, it’s simply an opportunity for us to find out about you and your family. We’ll work with you to help you learn more about fostering and its suitability for you. 

  6. Meet the Fostering Panel

    Meet with the local Fostering Panel and talk about the assessment.

  7. Get approved to be a foster carer

    Have your approval to become a foster carer formally agreed by Essex Fostering.

  8. Starting as a foster carer

    In the first few weeks and months, there is always someone to turn to when you need advice, guidance or a helping hand.