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How to foster a child

How to become a foster carer

Thinking about becoming a foster carer? Recent statistics show that the UK needs to recruit over 8,000 new foster carers to keep up with the increasing demand. Here at Excel Fostering, we’re always looking for passionate and caring foster carers to join our team.

But how do you get started?

We know that becoming a foster carer may be a path that many are intrigued by and want to know more, but it can be difficult to know where to start. That’s why we’ve put together this helpful guide, detailing how to foster a child, and how to become a foster carer.

What are the fostering requirements?

To be able to foster a child, you need to meet certain fostering requirements. These include three primary requirements, which are:

  • You need to have a spare room in your home
  • You need to be over the age of 21
  • You need to be in good health

There are also other requirements to meet – some that refer to character traits and personality, while others refer to your experience and lifestyle. Learn more about the fostering requirements now.

How to become a foster parent

If you’ve decided you want to become a foster carer, and you meet the fostering criteria, you need to then decide whether you want to foster with a local authority, or with an independent fostering agency, like Excel Fostering.

Local authority vs independent fostering agency

A local authority is an organisation similar to local and county councils – these are government bodies which will initially remove a child from their home environment, if they feel it is necessary to do so. Traditionally, all children in the care system were placed directly to local authority foster carers. However, the demand for carers continues to grow – meaning there has been a need for independent fostering agencies to step in.

An independent fostering agency is likely to have more resources, more time to provide to the carer, a more competitive fostering allowance and more fostering training and support compared to a local authority.

The fostering process

The fostering process itself consists of a series of steps which will all work to determine your eligibility of becoming a foster carer. These steps include:

  • Fostering assessment – this refers to assessing your fostering application to determine your eligibility to become a foster parent. This is conducted with a social worker who will identify what skills and attributes you can bring to fostering, as well as your personal and professional history. These learnings will determine whether you can provide a safe fostering environment.
  • Foster panel meeting – you will complete a Form F assessment document, and once this is complete, you will meet with an independent foster care panel. The panel are there to provide feedback on the suitability of potential foster carers. During this meeting, you will be asked a series of further questions which the panel will use to make their decision. However, it’s important to note that the final verdict remains in the hands of the independent fostering agency.
  • Approved! – once you have been approved by your foster care agency, that is the end of the application process, and you are a fully registered foster carer.

How to apply to become a foster child

To begin the fostering process, simply get in touch with Excel Fostering today. Your interest will then be considered by a social worker, who will decide whether to take your application forward. If you are successful, you will be asked to complete a full assessment form, including DBS checks and your references will be contacted. Learn more about the fostering process now.

Start your fostering application process today. Contact a member of our friendly team for more information on how to foster a child, or use our online live chat service.

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