Your fostering journey

Your journey to becoming a foster carer can take anything from 6 to 9 months. The more information that you can give us at each stage, the faster we can complete the process.

You’ll need to be available to speak to us on the phone, have your social worker visit you at home and attend training sessions.

1. Contact the fostering team

You can call us on 0161 474 3400 or email us at Alternatively, you can complete our online form.

Contact the fostering team

Once you've contacted the fostering team, we’ll call you to find out a bit more about you and to answer any questions that you might have.

2. Find out more about fostering

You can find out more about fostering by reading our fostering webpages. You can also come to an open evening where you can:

  • talk to us and ask questions
  • meet our fostering champions
  • meet other people who are starting their fostering journey

Find fostering events

If you can’t make it to an open evening, our fostering team will arrange additional phone calls to give you more information about fostering.

3. Home visit

A fostering social worker will visit you at home to talk more about yourself and your family. This is a chance for the social worker to meet you in person and to see the home that our foster children would be living in. The fostering social worker will talk to you about your:

  • employment
  • relationships
  • health
  • family background
  • childhood
  • criminal convictions

You’ll be able to ask any questions that you might have and we’ll ask you for personal and health referees. After the home visit, the fostering team will review your case and, depending on their recommendations, you'll move onto the assessment stage.

The home visit stage can be completed in one session but it may require more sessions to make sure that the fostering social worker has all of the information that they need.

4. Assessment and training

You’ll then be allocated a supervising social worker who will visit you at home several times. They’ll go into more detail about your lifestyle and your ability to look after children. This will help the social worker to decide if you’re suitable to become a foster carer.

During this stage, you’ll complete a series of training courses to help you develop the skills needed to care for other people’s children. You’ll get to know current foster carers and other people who are starting their fostering journey.
We’ll carry out statutory checks to make sure that it’s safe for you to work with children. We’ll also request personal and health references from your referees.

5. Approval

Once your assessment is complete, you’ll meet with the fostering panel. This is a group of professionals with experience in child welfare services who will decide if you should be approved as a foster carer.
Your supervising social worker will help to prepare you for the panel interview and will be there with you for support.

6. You are now a foster carer

Once you’ve been approved as a foster carer, your supervising social worker will visit you regularly to provide supervision, support and advice. During your first year of fostering, you’ll continue to receive training and professional development. You’ll join a fostering community which includes regular support group meetings and social events.