The Process

The Fostering Application Process

“How long does the fostering application process take?”

From beginning to end, the process takes between 3 and 6 months.

We’ve broken down the approval process for new applicants into a few simple steps:

1. Enquiry

Following your initial enquiry via our website, a phone call into our office, an email or meeting us at a promotional event, we’ll call you to get some basic information and to arrange a home visit.

2. Home Visit

We will arrange for two of our Social Workers to visit you together at home to talk to you about fostering in more depth and to see if you have the skills to potentially become foster carers.

3. Application form

You’ll be sent an application form to complete which gives us further information about you and your family, along with your consent for us to complete necessary checks and enquiries to determine your suitability to foster

4. References and Checks

We’ve detailed below some or all of the checks which we may undertake:

  • DBS Checks (formerly CRB check) on all adult members of the household (includes information about any criminal convictions or cautions)
  • Enquiries to Local Authority Children’s Services in the areas in which you have lived for the last 10 years to see if they hold any information about you or your family.
  • A medical examination (by your own GP) with the report made available to our Agency Medical Adviser for their comments about your health
  • Identification of at least 3 personal referees who will provide written references and be interviewed as part of the assessment process
  • References from previous employers
  • A standard Health & Safety Check will be carried out on your home
  • Any enquiries to other agencies where necessary

5. Assessment process

A qualified Social Worker will spend time with you and your family getting to know you in order to find out more about your lives and how you would care for any fostered children.  This usually takes about 2 months, after which a detailed Assessment report will be submitted to our fostering panel.

6. Introduction to Fostering Training

During the assessment process, all of our applicants undergo pre-approval training over a few evenings called ‘Introduction to Fostering’, which covers the following areas:

  • What do foster carers do?
  • Welcome to Match Foster Care.
  • Safeguarding.
  • Understanding children in foster care.
  • Safer Caring.
  • Transitions.
  • Birth children in the family.

7. Fostering panel

The content of the Fostering Assessment report, excluding some of the references, is shared with you before being presented to our Fostering Panel. To help with the decision-making process, we’d like you to attend the Panel meeting with the support of your social worker.  The panel is made up of a group of about five or six people with a range of experience and skills. They collectively consider the information in the Social Worker’s report to see if they agree with the recommendation to approve you as foster carers.  They then forward their own recommendation to our agency decision maker, who has the final say on if you are approved or not.

“You’re now approved foster carers and we are in a position to start to identify a child whose needs we think you can meet…..”

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Foster Child
“I feel like part of the Match family. I know everyone on the team and they know me. Some people in care would say that they don’t want a social worker in their lives, I don’t feel like that. Foster Child More testimonials »