Become a foster carer
Find out about the process of becoming a foster carer with Sutton Council.
Who can foster
We welcome people from all walks of life to foster. You can be:
- any age (over 21)
- single, in a relationship, married or divorced
- working, not working or retired
- any ethnic or faith background
- from the LGBTQ+ community
Your unique experience could make all the difference to a child’s life. We’ll help you to find suitable fostering for your circumstances.
Checks for foster carers and homes
We need to make sure that vulnerable children have a safe and loving foster home. We follow a process to check potential homes and foster carers to make sure they’re suitable for foster caring.
Before we can approve you as a foster carer, you and your family will need to be formally assessed. This process can take up to 16 weeks.
Register your interest in fostering
The first step is to contact us to tell us you’re interested in fostering.
How to contact us
We’ll get back to you within 24 hours to have an initial conversation with you.
Once you have more information, we’ll arrange an initial home visit for you to meet with one of our supervising social workers.
This will give you a chance to ask more questions and let us understand your individual circumstances better in person.
Following the initial visit, if you’re ready to progress to the next stage, we’ll send you an application form. We can support you with completing the form.
Stage one checks
We’ll complete several checks and references on you and your household. This includes medical checks and a DBS check for everyone over 18 in the home.
Stage two assessment
An assessing social worker will visit you and your family in your home multiple times to consider your suitability to foster.
The social worker will put together a report at the end of this stage detailing the discussions you have had and their recommendations regarding your suitability to foster.
We aim to complete the report within 16 weeks.
Skills to Foster workshop
During the fostering assessment you will be asked to attend a 3 day pre-approval course which will give you the basic knowledge and skills you need to begin fostering. This is part of your assessment process.
Panel and final assessment
The social worker’s final report about your suitability to foster will be presented to our fostering panel. The panel will decide if they recommend you to become approved foster carers.