Becoming a Foster Carer

You’ll be supported throughout your application to become a foster carer (also known as a foster parent) with National Fostering Group. As the UK’s largest and most experienced agency, we’re with you every step of the way.

As young adults, taking the leap to become fostering carers seemed scary. Our local National Fostering Group agency provided encouragement, education and understand the challenges that are involved with being a foster carers. It's a rewarding experience.

Nikiece, National Fostering Group foster carer

Ongoing support when you foster a child

We know how potential foster carers value the support we give them while they are applying to foster a child. We’re also committed to continuing to support you once you’ve been accepted.

National Fostering Group sees this as an ongoing relationship where we can work together to provide the best care and outcomes. It’s a challenging role to foster a child and you’ll find it reassuring to know there’s a team behind you.

We often talk about National Fostering Group being a family, and we mean it. Because our agencies are based locally, you’ll really benefit from the personal contact you have with the people who can support you.

The level of support we give our foster carers is one of the main reasons they continue to foster children with us year after year. We will advise you, fight your corner, celebrate your achievements and be there for you as you become an advocate for your foster children.

I have and always would recommend the National Fostering Group. They have been amazing for us and we’ve never thought about moving away from them.

Jodie, National Fostering Group foster carer

Frequently asked questions

How do I become a foster carer?

Apply to become a foster carer with an independent fostering agency like National Fostering Group, or with your local authority. If you choose to become a foster carer (also known as a foster parent) with us, we have a seven-step framework to approve and induct you as a foster carer in the National Fostering Group. Your first step is to get in touch with our team. We will arrange to meet with you and your family at your home for an Initial Home Visit.

Together, we will start compiling your Form F, enrol you into basic training, and prepare you for your assessment by the Fostering Panel. If you are approved, we will help get you ready for fostering your first child or young person. Read more about the process of becoming a foster carer in the UK or, if you’re ready, make contact with your local office.

How long does it take to become a foster parent?

Once you get in touch, your application will take on average, from four to six months. A fast track process is available for some applicants, which takes two months (eight weeks) but which is just as thorough. Caring for children and young people is an important commitment, so we need to get to know each other well and be sure it’s right for everyone concerned. During this time, we will do background checks, a medical check with your GP, assessments and training. You will have your Assessing Social Worker with you every step of the way. Read more about the process of becoming a foster parent.

Do you need qualifications to become a foster carer?

The only special qualifications you need to become a foster carer is your basic training. We provide this training free of charge at a venue local to you.

We do encourage you to sign up for other training to improve your skills, enhance your confidence and broaden your experience. Just like your basic training, all our sessions are free and delivered at a venue local to you or online. Read more about training.

Where can I get advice on how to become a foster parent?

Our website is a great resource, covering all aspects of how to become a foster parent – from real life carer stories to the nitty gritty about finances.

Importantly, we can also support you even before you apply from our local offices. National Fostering Group has agency offices all across the country, staffed by professional teams who can help. You can make contact with your local team by filling in our enquiry form for a call back.

During the call, you can ask us about anything. We want you to have the information you need to make your decision. If you decide to go ahead, your local team will guide you through the application process. Read more about the process of becoming a foster parent.

Join over 3,000 happy foster carers