Become a foster carer

Ready to foster and want to know more on how to become a foster carer?

By now you have made the decision that you would like to become a foster carer. You want to offer a safe and caring home to a child or young person and you have a spare room. What are the next steps in becoming a foster carer? Becoming a foster carer is a detailed and thorough process however, we will support and guide you through each and every step. At Shining Stars our aim is to complete the full assessment within a reasonable timescale and offer you a friendly, professional and prompt service throughout the process!

 The STEP BY STEP process is explained below on how to become a foster carer:


Step 1

Inititial Enquiry 

Complete an enquiry form with us. This can be completed online (via our website) or just simply by calling us over the phone. Our friendly team is happy to speak to you and answer any questions you may have regarding fostering. If the enquiry is positive a member of the staff from Shining Stars will contact you to book an appointment to come out and see you if you wish to proceed further with your enquiry.


Step 2

Home Visit

One of our team member will visit you to discuss your interest in fostering further with you, to gather some background information about you and your family. We will also check if you have appropriate bedroom space in your home and discuss Health & Safety. This will also be an opportunity for you to ask any questions. This is called an “Initial Home Visit”. If the visit is positive application form can be completed following the home visit.


Step 3

Application Form

This is the stage where the formal assessment will begin and stage 1 of the assessment will commence. As part of stage 1 process you will be required to:

  1. Provide references both personal and employment
  2. Undertake a medical check with your GP (paid for by us)
  3. Consent to other checks with Local Authorities, schools or other agencies

Step 4

Full Fostering Assessment

The assessment process, sometimes called “Form F” assessment essentially involves a review of your suitability to provide foster care. This is a very detailed assessment and will be undertaken by a qualified social worker. This is called stage 2 of the assessment and your assessing social worker will carry out several home visits and support you with any home study you need to do.


Step 5

Invitation to Preparation Training

You will receive specific training through a three day training course to prepare you to foster , this is called Skills to Foster. Skills to Foster will also allow you to meet other carers, share experiences and learn more about foster care. For carers wishing to look after disabled or challenging children, parent and child placements additional training will be provided at this stage.


Step 6

Fostering Panel

Following completion of your training and fostering assessment, your Form F assessment report will be submitted to an Independent Panel. The fostering panel is a group of professionals from different backgrounds including from children’s social care and include representatives from health, education, foster carer from a different IFA or LA and an ex foster child. You will be invited to attend the Panel with the social worker who completed your assessment.

7 & Last Step


The Agency decision maker (ADM) will have the final decision regarding your approval. Once approved you will then be a registered foster carer with Shining Stars Fostering Agency, and would be ready to take a placement of looked after children and young people into your home and care for them. You will be allocated a Supervising Social Worker to help and provide any ongoing support in your fostering journey.

Want to know if you can foster?

Find out if you meet the criteria to become one of our foster carers.

We are recruiting Foster Carers

We are currently recruiting foster carers across all the London Boroughs and the surrounding counties. Please go through the website and contact us to register an interest in fostering.

Foster in your area

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SSFA has a range Policies and Procedures concerning Social Work Practice, HR and Finance which are used to guide staff and for tendering and commissioning purposes.  If any of the issues that are not covered please do contact your supervising social worker or our registered manager who will guide you to the appropriate policy.  Shining Stars Fostering Agency Tri-X policies