How to become a foster carer

We are here to guide and support you through the process, every step of the way.

Foster carers role

Before you can start fostering, there is a set process we must follow to get you assessed and approved as a foster carer. We are here to guide and support you through the process, every step of the way.

Let us take you through the key stages...

Step 1 - Speak with us

We will begin with a relaxed conversation with our knowledgeable fostering advisors, so they can learn more about you and answer any queries you may have. 

Step 2 - Home visit

We can come to your house at a time that is convenient for you to meet you and explain all the details. It’s another good opportunity for you to ask any questions you have about the roles and responsibilities of a foster carer. 

Step 3 - Application form

Once everyone agrees that fostering is would be suitable for you and you are confident in your decision, you will be asked to fill out an application form. You will have a designated assessor and the Olive Branch Fostering team will offer you assistance throughout the assessment process. 

Step 4 - Checks and references

After sending in your application, the assessment process will be initiated. This might take a few months, but you will be supported throughout. As part of the assessment, background checks and references will be gathered in order to ensure the safeguarding of our children and young people.  

Step 5 - Get to know you

In this stage, your assessor will be taking time to learn more about your background, the activities you and your family enjoy, and all of the qualities you possess that make you suitable to be a foster carer. 

Step 6 - Skills To Foster training

You are invited to join other prospective foster carers in a Skills to Foster program, organised by Olive Branch Fostering, which is the first step in a tailored training and growth program. This engaging course offers you the opportunity to learn invaluable techniques and information that will help you on your fostering journey. 

Step 7 - Panel interview

You have almost achieved your goal of becoming an approved foster carer! We will always ensure that you feel confident in time for your meeting with the foster Panel. Ultimately, the agency decision maker will make the determination of whether or not you are approved as an Olive Branch foster carer. 

We've spoken to some of our Panel members to give you more insight into their role. Read our Q&A's with John and David in our Fostering Insights setion

Step 8 - Start your fostering journey

Once you are approved, your assigned social worker together with the placements team will carefully make sure that you and the child or young person that needs you are a good match. It's important to bear in mind that this experience will be incredibly meaningful and life-altering, both for you and the children you are helping. 

Could you open your heart and home to a child who needs a fresh start and a safe space to call home?

Get in touch with us today

Contact us
What are the roles and responsibilities of foster parents

Common Questions

One of our team will visit you, in your home, to have an informal chat about caring for vulnerable children and young people. We’ll chat about the process of becoming a foster carer, suggest useful books and research you may like to undertake, and chat about your role as a foster carer. 

We match children carefully with our foster carers. During the assessment process, we will build up an understanding of what will work for you and your household which will help us to make good matches. 

Yes. The matching process is important for you and for the child or young person referred to us. We match, carefully, your personalities, skills, and circumstances with those of the child or young person. We will discuss this with you, fully, during your assessment 

We prefer foster carers to have an open mind about age groups as it provides carers with a lot more opportunities to care for children. We encourage foster carers to focus on the needs of the child, not their age and then decide if they're able to help them.