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Your first foster child

Once your Skills to Foster course has been completed and the Agency Decision Maker (ADM) has approved your application, you’ll be ready for your first child.

Matching you with a foster child

The local agency team you’ve been working with will continue to support you throughout your fostering career.

By now, we’ll know each other quite well and our team will use information you’ve provided to match you with your first foster child. We do everything we can to make your placement a success for you and your foster child, starting before the placement is even agreed.

Some newly-approved foster carers will be offered a foster child immediately, especially if they have particular skills or there’s high demand in their region. Other new foster carers could wait days or weeks.

Start your adventure

Here we are, 21 years later, 25 children later and no looking back. I could never imagine doing anything else.

Julie, foster carer

How do we match you to a foster child?

Our regional referral teams use their knowledge and understanding of you to propose a good match. If we think you’re a good match to a foster child needing a home, your supervising social worker (SSW) will have an informal chat to see what you think.

We’re mindful of your preferences, experience and training as a new foster carer. We won’t suggest a challenging placement for your first experience – this wouldn’t be fair to you or the child.

At this stage, as a new foster carer, you will probably be approved for short term, long term, emergency fostering and respite care.

Placements like Parent & Child and Bridge to Foster require specialism through experience and training, though foster carers who have been nurses, midwives, or other professionals are treated slightly differently in this respect.

Start your adventure

Every foster child has unique needs. Each foster carer has unique experience, skill and personal characteristics to bring to their role...

Getting good outcomes for looked-after children is one of our key objectives. An element of this is to bring the foster child together with a foster parent who can fulfil their particular needs and provide the right conditions for them to thrive.

Natalie, supervising social worker

Ongoing foster carer support

Once you’ve been approved to become a foster carer with us and you’re caring for your first child, our expert local teams will continue to support you.

They’ll visit regularly and remain a constant source of professional guidance and advice as and when you need it. This includes the provision of a 24/7 emergency helpline.

Your SSW will also encourage you to take advantage of all the training opportunities available to you, so you can grow in skills, experience and confidence in your new role.

Fostering for us has been the most rewarding thing that we have done apart from having our own children. We have fostered all ages and have moved children onto adoption and also provided support to families when children have returned home.

The rewards of what we do are huge and it enables us to work with a caring range of professionals in order to provide loving forever homes for children. Working for National Fostering Group provides us with 24/7 support and extensive training to enable us to provide the best care.

Jayne & Ken, foster carers
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Find out if you could be a foster carer
Find out if you could be a foster carer
In a few simple questions, you’ll know if you’re suitable to apply to become a foster carer.