How long does it take to become a foster parent?


Becoming a foster parent does not take as long as you may initially think – on average, the process takes 3 – 6 months, which is usually dependent on the fostering assessment. Find out everything you need to know about fostering assessments in our helpful guide. 

How long does it take to foster a child in the UK?

To foster a child in the UK, a number of integral checks will be made by the assessing independent fostering agency or local authority including a Disclosure Barring Service (DBS), as well as risk assessments and health checks. During this time, you will also attend foster care training sessions – specifically, our ‘Skills to Foster’ Training course – which will equip you with the essential skills and knowledge it takes to foster. Once all these checks are completed, you are then assessed by an independent panel that will review your assessment and make the final decision. 

The foster care requirements may not be as strict as you think -  there are a small number of primary requirements to become a foster carer: 

  • Be 21 years old or older
  • Have a sizeable spare room
  • Be a full-time resident of the UK
  • Have enough time to be a carer 

What does the fostering process look like?

  • Initial decision: if you are deciding to foster, you will then have a discussion with one of our FosterCare UK fostering advisors. This conversation is just intended to inform you about the fostering process and will answer any queries you may have – ensuring that the initial prospect of fostering is the right path for you.
  • Home visit: a member of the FosterCare UK team will visit your home - the visit will allow you to learn more about fostering and ask any new questions you may have. This is also a good opportunity for our staff to determine whether you have enough space for a fostering placement and if your home is safe for children and young people. 
  • Application visit: at this stage, you will be invited to fill out a fostering application form with us – from here, you will complete a number of assessments with a social worker. There will also be more home visits in this stage, as this allows the social worker to familiarise themselves with all the details of your household. 

Read our step by step guide on how to apply to be a foster carer  for further information on this process.

Can I become a foster carer ?

A common misconception about foster carers is that you have to fit a very selective criteria but in reality a lot of people are eligible to apply to be foster parents! As long as you are over 21, a permanent UK resident, have a spare room and have time to care for someone else, you can apply to become a foster carer.

Your marital status, sexuality or religion doesn’t mean you can’t foster! If you have questions on if you can foster, read our commonly asked questions in the Can I foster if…? guide, or get in touch with our team today.  

If you are interested in a career in fostering, contact our team for any queries you may have. To learn more about the fostering process, have a browse through our helpful knowledge centre. 

Thinking of fostering?

If you’ve got any questions or would like to find out more about fostering with Capstone, fill out the form below.
An experienced fostering advisor from your local area will then be in touch.

The information you provide will be used to respond to the enquiry you have submitted, for further information please refer to our privacy policy.

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Find out more about fostering with FosterCare UK.

Download our helpful guide to becoming a foster carer

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Ways to

Start the conversation today. Our team of friendly advisors are on hand to answer any foster care questions you may have. We can offer you honest and practical advice that can help you decide if becoming a foster carer is the right path for you.

Request a
call back

Contact us by completing our online form and one of our fostering advisors will respond to your enquiry within 24 hours.

Call us

Contact us by phone and one of our friendly fostering experts will be on hand for any foster care advice and support you require.

Download a Brochure

Download our helpful guide to becoming a foster carer with Fostercare UK.