Steps to Fostering

On this page we explain everything you need to know about the two stage process of becoming a foster carer.

Initial enquiry 

You can make an initial enquiry by either calling us on 0115 876 3335 or submitting an enquiry form online here.

You'll be sent a welcome pack explaining everything in more detail and we'll invite you to one of our monthly information evenings to find out more about the process. If you would like to proceed you'll need to complete and return a registration of interest form. There are a number of checks that we need to do at this point. We will consider your registration of interest and if you are accepted you will start stage one of a two stage process.

STAGE 1 - Home Visit

After registering your interest, a Social Worker will be allocated to you.

They will visit your home to carry out your fostering assessment. This takes place within one month of us receiving your form. They will discuss your application with you, gathering information on your family history including your own experiences of childcare and your motivation to foster. They will also answer any questions you may have.

A report will be written after the visit and passed onto the Principal Manager at Nottingham City Council who will decide whether the eligibility criteria has been met. If we are unable to proceed with your application, we will always write to you to explain why.

STAGE 2 - Assessment

If your application is accepted we will then work with you to undertake your full assessment.

This involves a number of visits by a Social Worker to your home who will gather information about your lifestyle and your parenting skills. The assessor will explore with you how fostering and you would fit together and what type of fostering work would be most suited

to you. They will also interview your referees, and investigate replies to the statutory checks referred to on this page.

At the end of the assessment process the worker will produce a report called a "Form F" report, which describes their findings and recommendation. You will have the chance to see and comment on the report before it is circulated to the Panel. We aim to complete this part of the process in 12 weeks.

Your home study report, references and medical report will be considered at a panel meeting which you will need to attend. The panel is made up of health and education professionals, independent members and a foster carer. The panel will let you know the outcome of this meeting within a few days.We aim to complete this part of the process in 12 weeks.


Upon approval as a foster carer, you will be introduced to a Supervising Social Worker (SSW) who will support you throughout your fostering career.

You'll also be offered a 'Buddy' - an experienced carer who can be contacted to talk things over when you want information and advice, as well as invites to meetings and further training opportunities. Your SSW will also arrange for you to have and understand the Foster Carer's Handbook and will also guide your first year's training. They will then liaise with the Placement Service and with you to identify the child or children for your first placement. Great care is taken to ensure that each child placed with you is suited to your family's current arrangements and that everything is in place to achieve the best possible outcomes for everyone involved.

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