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Becoming a foster carer is an exciting and life-changing thing to do. But it’s important to remember that the foster children we find placements for are at a very vulnerable stage in their life. That’s why it’s important all our foster carers go through our robust fostering process. It helps make sure all the children, young people and families we work with are safe.

It usually takes up to 6 months from getting in touch with us to becoming an approved foster carer. The exact application process for fostering a child can vary depending on the state you live in, but will usually involves the following stages.

Thinking of fostering?

Take our short quiz to find out if fostering is right for you. If you’re eligible, one of our team will get in touch with you soon.

Take our quiz

Meet someone from our team at your home

Someone from our team will visit you at home to talk about becoming a foster carer. After their visit, they’ll put together an initial report and let you know next steps.

Start your training

Shared Lives is a compulsory two-day course for potential carers. It will help you learn more about children in care, and the responsibilities and commitments of being a foster carer with us.

Fill in your application form

Tell us about you and your family in our foster carer application form. You will also need to give us consent to complete other checks. These include criminal record checks, medical reports and references.

Complete the assessment process

One of our experienced assessors will visit your home on a number of occasions to meet you and your family. They’ll find out more about your skills and experience.

Fostering panel

You’ll see your assessment report before it’s presented to our fostering panel. These are the people who give their recommendation to our state director to help them make the final decision. The panel is made up of our staff and other people chosen to be objective – like care-leavers and carers from other agencies. We’ll let you know when you’re approved verbally and in writing, along with a welcome letter, certificate of approval, carer ID card and access to our carer net.