Social services Fostering

How to become a foster carer

It usually takes around six months from getting in touch with us to being able to take in your first foster child.

In the first couple of months, we'll help you to understand what fostering involves and check you are ready to apply.

The application process takes about four months. If the fostering panel agrees you're suitable, we'll start to arrange your first placement.

You'll get training and support throughout.

Before you apply

There are six stages:

Stage 1: Have a friendly chat.

Once you've checked if you can foster, leave your details with Foster for Greater Manchester and they’ll get in touch with you.

Stage 2: learn more from us and real foster carers.

Now's your chance to learn more about children who need foster care, meet experienced foster carers and other people like you who want to foster. We'll learn more about you and your skills including coming to visit you in your home.

Stage 3: find out about the skills you need.

We'll invite you to training where you'll meet others who want to be foster carers. You’ll get the chance to learn about fostering firsthand. You'll need to complete a course that will teach you the practical skills that all foster carers need to know. 

The application process

Stage 4: a few checks.

We make background checks with the police, your doctor and other local services. We ask for references from employers and people who know you well.

We'll visit you several times, to look at health and safety, and to get to know your household. The police will run a few checks on any lodgers, babysitters, children over 16, and other significant adults.

We'll write a report for you to read and sign.

Stage 5: getting approval.

The report goes to our panel of experts to consider. You can be there when they do this. The panel makes a recommendation about your suitability as a foster carer.

Finally, a senior council officer looks at the report and the panel's recommendation and decides whether you can be a foster carer.

Stage 6: your first foster child.

If you're starting with short-term caring, you're likely to be placed with a child quite quickly. If you're going for long-term care, it could take a little longer.

Check if you can foster

If you want to become a foster carer or find out more:

Please accept marketing-cookies to watch this video.

Download a transcript of this film

Was this page helpful?

Fields marked * cannot be left blank

Feedback submitted to us on this form is monitored but you won’t receive a reply. In an emergency, visit our emergency contact details page. Please don't include any personal or financial information, for example your National Insurance or credit card numbers.