How to Become a Foster Parent

We answer the questions you may have about becoming a foster parent in the UK

There are many different reasons why families start to foster, but they all have one thing in common – a wish to help children and young people who are going through a difficult time in their lives.

Making the decision to become a foster parent is a big one for many people. It can affect your everyday life in many ways, and whilst a wholly rewarding experience, fostering can come with challenges too. Compass are here to make that challenges minimal, and if they arise, we’ll give you all the support you need to tackle them.

How long does it take?

Your fostering journey with Compass will likely take from 4 to 6 months, depending on your availability and we’re well known for making this process as easy and efficient for you as possible. Whilst this may seem like a long time, we need to make sure that all our foster carers have the necessary checks completed to provide a safe and stable home for our young people.

Becoming a foster parent

There are six main stages to your fostering journey with us, and it all begins with a conversation. We’ve put together a guide breaking down each stage for you below.

Become a foster carer by getting in touch with us

1. Get in touch with us about fostering

As a prospective foster carer, you probably have a lot of questions when it comes to foster care. Your first step to becoming a foster parent will be to have a chat with us about fostering.

You are precious, and so is your time. That’s why from the first time you get in touch with Compass Fostering, you’ll notice something different – we get back to you more quickly, with the answers you’re after. We aim to have your initial enquiry responded to within 24 hours by phone, text, or email, whichever you prefer.

home visit

2. Having your home visit

After you make your enquiry with us, we’ll arrange to meet you and your family at home for your “initial visit”.

One of our qualified team members will come to your home to have a conversation with you all about fostering. This visit is designed to get to know you and everyone living in your house, but it’s also a chance for you to get to know us, too.

The assessment process

3. The assessment process

After your initial visit, if you and Compass Fostering have agreed to progress onto the next stage, a Form F assessment will be created for you. A Form F is what we call your more in-depth fostering assessment. This is to get a real picture of who you are, and why you’d be perfect for fostering with us.

skills to foster training

4. Your skills to foster training

We want you to be prepared for fostering, our Skills to Foster course will give you the knowledge and confidence to welcome your first foster child.

During these three days you will be part of a group that is led by an experienced Social Worker in family matching and a local foster carer. The course will provide a fun, interesting and insightful opportunity for you to find out as much as you can about the role of the foster carer.

Fostering panel

5. Fostering panel

Once you and your Assessing Social Worker have completed your visits together, you’ve attended Skills to Foster and your Form F report is finished, you’ll attend the day this has led up to: your fostering panel interview.

These panels are usually made up of a few senior social workers, care, fostering and educational professionals. They will make their recommendation as to whether you’ll be joining the Compass family as a foster parent.

Foster carer training

6. Training and support

At Compass Fostering we provide all the support you need to be a great foster carer. Once you have been approved, you will be closely supported by your Supervising Social Worker and receive ongoing training through your Personal Development Programme.

Get all the support you need to become a great foster carer, so the children you care for can grow up happy and confident too.

Each of our foster parents come from different backgrounds, races, religions and walks of life. We look for your personal qualities you can offer a child in care. If you have the space in your home, heart and personal life to offer a child a nurturing place to live, we’d love to hear from you.


Request your digital brochure

  • Date Format: DD slash MM slash YYYY
  • You must have a spare room in order to foster.