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What’s the difference between a fast track fostering application and the usual process?

12.05.21

There’s only one application process – but there are two ways of doing it. There are quite a few good reasons why, and each has benefits for foster children and people who want to become a foster carer.

Comparing the two

What’s the usual application process?

  1. This takes around four to six months to complete
  2. It includes several home visits with an assessing social worker
  3. It also includes background checks and a medical
  4. Your training will take place in person at a local venue
  5. It culminates in a Fostering Panel interview in person
  6. A decision is made within days
  7. The first fostering placement might be suggested very soon after this

This way of applying to be a foster carer gives you more time to:

  • Prepare for your new role as a foster carer
  • Collate information and checks for your application
  • Get to know us – and for us to get to know you

What’s the fast track process?

  1. This takes two months to complete
  2. It includes several video calls with an assessing social worker
  3. The registered manager of your local agency will visit your home
  4. It also includes background checks and a medical
  5. Your training will take place face-to face where possible, or via video call
  6. It culminates with a Fostering Panel interview video call
  7. A decision is made within days
  8. The first fostering placement might be suggested very soon after this

By using fast track, you can:

  • Immerse yourself fully in the assessment process
  • Start your new role sooner
  • Help us help more children who need foster care – faster

There simply aren’t enough foster carers in the UK

Nationally, local authorities are struggling to find foster carers for the children who need them. This puts strain on local authority care facilities – and leaves vulnerable children in limbo.

Matching them to a foster carer (or foster parent) offers the greatest opportunity to create better outcomes for that child.  The sooner this can happen, the better.

Around 8,000 children are in need of a foster home

The unique circumstances of 2020 presented us with new ways of doing things, including meeting the challenge of recruiting enough foster carers to meet this demand. 

  • More people were at home and unable to work 
  • People began to question their career path, work-life balance and job fulfilment
  • Everyone became more comfortable and confident with video calls
  • We realised that, in most cases, checks could be done promptly

This meant that, in some cases, we could assess potential foster carers more quickly. 

Of course, there are instances when it isn’t possible – for example, if someone has worked abroad, because we know background references will take longer to be returned. We can’t approve anyone for fostering unless they’ve been thoroughly checked. 

Also, we recognise that some people will prefer to take longer over the assessment. So, we don’t insist that applicants fast-track, far from it. 

But it’s an option – and one that will help us boost the numbers of foster carers in the UK.

Why National Fostering Group?

Need more information?

Read more about the usual process of becoming a foster carer and also our breakdown of the fast track process

Also feel free to contact your local fostering agency team – they’re happy to answer your questions about any aspect of fostering.

Do you know someone who’d be a good foster carer?

Is it you? Your first step is to get in touch with your local team for a chat about fostering with us. We can talk about the different routes to becoming a foster carer and you can make a decision on the way you’d like to go.

If you know someone who’d be perfect, please share this article and help us make a real difference to children who need a safe, stable foster home where they can thrive.

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Start your fostering journey with National Fostering Group

  • We have fostering agencies all across the UK
  • Over 3,000 carers already part of our family
  • Benefit from our local support groups and social workers
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