How to become a foster carer

Learn more about becoming a foster carer with Suffolk's Fostering Service and find out what qualities you need and don't need.

Explore how you can become a foster carer with Suffolk County Council and a look at the steps involved and the support we'll provide you with, to ensure you're fully equipped to help children and young people thrive and reach their full potential.

Our fostering process

  1. Initial enquiry - Get in touch with us and we’ll find out more about your situation and answer any questions you may have.
  2. Information event - You’ll have the opportunity to come along to one of our information events, to hear from our team and a foster carer and get the chance to ask any questions. You can find these on our events page.
  3. Initial visit - We’ll come and visit you in your home, tell you more about fostering and find out more about you and your family.
  4. Stage 1 (approx. 30 - 60 days) - We’ll review your references and complete background checks. Everyone will also be asked to complete a workbook about themselves.
  5. Preparation training - You will be invited to attend our Skills to Foster course, which will help you learn more about fostering.
  6. Stage 2 (approx. 2-4 months) - A Social Worker will visit you regularly to get to know you better. We'll discuss the type of fostering that's best suited to you, and your household, as well as exploring any support you might need.
  7. Workshop - This is your opportunity to meet staff and carers in the team who may be supporting you when you start fostering.
  8. Assessment report - You'll complete a Form F report with your Social Worker to show how you meet the training, support and development standards.
  9. Panel - You'll attend a panel, made up of independent people, with your Social Worker. The panel will consider your approval as a foster carer.
  10. Approval - You’ll receive official confirmation from the Fostering Service as you become a fully-fledged foster carer!

You can also download our dedicated infographic which outlines the steps to becoming a foster carer (PDF, 670KB).

Watch this video

This video outlines how Suffolk Fostering Service will take you through the process to becoming a foster carer.

If you would like to request an accessible version of this video, please visit Suffolk County Council's accessibility page.

If you have any questions about any part of the process or would like to discuss your own situation, then please get in touch.

What you need to become a foster carer

  • a spare bedroom
  • a belief you can make a difference
  • a sense of humour
  • a non-judgemental attitude
  • patience
  • a loving and nurturing environment
  • commitment
  • to enjoy the company of children.

What you don't need to become a foster carer

Ready to foster with us?

We can take you through everything you need to know.