The fostering process

Do you have a spare room? Could you be a Southwark Foster Carer?  Contact us now!

The first step to becoming a foster carer is to talk to us. You can call 0800 952 0707, email  or come along to one of our regular information sessions.

What happens next?

We arrange an initial appointment for an experienced social worker to visit you at home. They will talk to you about your background, skills and abilities and you will have a chance to ask questions. A decision is then made about whether to offer you a full assessment.

If you progress to the next stage you will need to complete an application form. We will take up references and make checks with the police, your local social services department, Ofsted and your previous employers. These checks are to ensure the safety of children and are government requirements.

After this is complete we assess your suitability to foster and make several visits to you and your family over a period of time. This is also an opportunity for you to learn more about what fostering involves.  You will be able to decide which groups of children you wish to be considered to foster, for example their age, gender, sibling groups or children with disabilities and if you want to do short or long term fostering. During this stage, we'll expect you to attend a three day preparation training course for three days over two weeks.

The social worker assessing you will write a detailed report which you must agree is accurate. This is then presented to Southwark's Fostering Panel. The panel is made up of people who are experts in the fields of fostering, childcare, health and education. The panel members then decide whether to recommend that you become an approved foster carer.

Page last updated: 25 February 2019