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How do I become a Foster Parent?

Becoming a foster parent is a huge responsibility and one which requires a lot of thought and consideration. For this reason, the process to becoming a foster parent is suitably robust. Rest assured though, you will be fully supported throughout the process by our warm, welcoming and knowledgeable team. 

To become a foster parent, you need to be assessed for your suitability for the role. This will include us taking a look at your home, your health, your financial circumstances and taking a broad look at who you are as a person, and how you’ve come to be the person you are today. Our Assessor will look at the skills that you have that would make you a suitable foster parent (such as kindness, empathy, warmth, resilience etc.). 

Our Fostering Assessment is called a “Form F Assessment”. This is an in-depth overview of you which is compiled by our assessor so that a judgement can be made on whether you are suitable. 

Let’s run through what’s included (you’re welcome to speak to our team if you have any questions about anything you see here)

The assessment is broken down into 2 main stages. 

Stage 1 

Stage 1 refers to the process whereby we gather checks and references about you to gather evidence related to your suitability to foster. Sometimes we complete Stage 1 followed by Stage 2, but we can also complete them simultaneously. Stage 1 consists of: 

  • Application Form being completed
  • Reference requests are sent to your 4 referees
  • We complete checks with the Local Authority’s you have lived in (to see if any information is held on file) 
  • A medical check is completed with your GP
  • We send employment references to your most recent employers
  • We complete an enhanced criminal records check (DBS) 
  • Home Health and Safety Check
  • Ex-Partner References completed
  • Financial Assessment

Stage 2

At Stage 2, you will be assigned a qualified Social Worker who will complete an assessment of your suitability. Your assessor will meet with you approximately 8-12 times (on average) to get to know you and your family well. Your assessment visits will be relaxed and informal. The aim is for the assessing social worker to get to know you, how you’ve come to be the person you are today, and to recognise the skills and qualities that you have that will support you in your role as a foster parent. Your social worker will complete your “Form F” which is a written document detailing all of the evidence we have gathered (you will get to read everything that your assessor writes). 


The final part of the process to becoming a foster parent is attendance at our fostering panel. Our panel is made up of independent members who review all of the evidence that is collected. You will be invited to attend panel and our friendly panel team will ask you some questions to get to know you. Your assessor will attend panel with you. Once panel have asked any questions, they will make a recommendation to TheraParent Fostering as to whether they feel you are suitable to become a foster parent. 

Not all applications are successful. We need to be sure that we are recruiting people who are suitable for the role and are suitable for our team therefore there will be times when assessments may be ended for a number of different reasons. If an issue with your application is identified, we will be open and honest about this and will inform you verbally and in writing of any decision to end your assessment.