Fostering isn’t a decision to take lightly. It takes a lot of preparation, so we’re here to help you find the information you need and to give you real insight into what fostering involves.
Before you’re ready to make a formal application at step 3, there’s lots of opportunities to help you find out more.
We will complete a brief enquiry with you to gather some information about you and your interest in fostering.
If you’d like to foster and you meet our basic criteria, we can arrange a home visit. A fostering team member will visit your home, meet other family members and discuss the different types of fostering available.
‘Skills to foster’ training
You’ll then be invited to attend our Skills To Foster preparation training course to help you prepare for fostering. You’ll explore fostering in more detail and learn more about the children who need to be fostered.
Formal application, references and checks
We’ll invite you to make a formal application and then start a series of personal references and checks, including with the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). Please note that not all criminal convictions will stop you fostering. See Frequently asked questions.
You’ll be assigned an assessing social worker who’ll visit you in your home over a number of weeks. Together you’ll look at the task of fostering in more detail and your personal circumstances and qualities.
North Somerset Fostering Panel
All of the information gathered during your assessment, including references, is compiled into a report, which is available for you to read. It’s then submitted to the North Somerset Fostering Panel.
Approval and registration
You’re invited to attend the Fostering Panel meeting, accompanied by your assessing social worker, where members will decide whether to approve you as a foster carer for North Somerset. You’ll be registered for a specific age-range, number of children and type of fostering.
First steps as a foster carer
Congratulations! You’re now a foster carer with North Somerset. Together with your supervising social worker, you’ll look at the children currently looking for a home and start your basic training.