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What's involved?

A step-by-step guide to becoming a foster carer.

Lady and two laughing children

Contact us

Contact us in the following ways:

When you contact us we will respond to your enquiry within two days to give you more information about fostering. If it looks like fostering may be right for you we will arrange to visit you at home.

The purpose of the visit is to provide you with more information and find out more about your interest in fostering. This will help you and us to decide if fostering is right for you and your family.

Following the visit, we will contact you to let you know if we plan to continue with your enquiry and for you to let us know your decision about moving to the next stage. 

There are two stages to becoming a foster carer.

Stage one


We will ask you to complete an application form, giving us consent to undertake the necessary checks to foster.

Checks and references

We will start a series of checks as soon as possible including: the local authority, Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS - police), personal references, education if you have school aged children and with your employer (if applicable).

All adults age 18 and above in the household will need DBS checks. You will be asked to make an appointment with your general practitioner to have a medical.

Preparation training

All fostering applicants are invited to attend preparation training called Skills to Foster. This is an opportunity to learn alongside other applicants, to find out more about the fostering role and for you to decide if fostering is right for you. If it is a joint application, both applicants are required to attend. Courses are held at regular intervals throughout the year. Social workers, foster carers and young people with care experience provide the training. 

Following this, we will meet with you to talk about moving to the next stage of assessment, stage two. If this is right for you and your family, a social worker will be assigned to work with you to complete the final stage of preparation and assessment of you as foster carers.

Stage two

The Form F Assessment (also known as the Home Study)

This will help prepare you further for fostering. Your social worker will visit you on a regular basis to complete the assessment with you and members of your household. You will receive regular feedback from your assessing social worker and together you will determine if fostering is right for you and your family.

Your assessing social worker will prepare a report based on the work you have undertaken together, this is called a Form F. 

Our aim is to complete stage two
in four months, but this can vary according to individual circumstances. 

Approval as a foster carer: Hillingdon Fostering and Adoption Panel

To be approved as a foster carer your Form F report is presented to the independent Fostering and Adoption Panel. You will be invited to attend the panel with your assessing social worker. The panel will be familiar with your report. If fostering is right for you and your family, your approval as a foster carer will be considered by Hillingdon's Fostering and Adoption Panel.

Agency Decision Maker approval

The panel recommendation will be sent to the Agency Decision Maker  who will review the papers sent to panel and their recommendation, so that they can make the final decision about your approval. 

If this is successful, you are then approved as a foster carer with Hillingdon Council.

Fostering for Hillingdon Council

You will receive a welcome pack and be assigned a supervising  social worker who is there to support and work with you now that you are ready to care for children in your home.

Placing a child with you

We will contact you when we have a child that fits well with your family and is well-matched to your skills and knowledge. This could be within a few days or weeks of your approval as a foster carer.

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Article utilities:  Bookmark and Share Print Print this page Last updated: 12 Dec 2018 at 11:40