Your journey to foster


You can contact us in many ways to talk to us about fostering. You are able to get in touch with us online, over the phone or at one of our events. We will ask for some details, find out what type of fostering you are interested in and chat about your suitability.

Initial home visit

We will arrange to visit you in your home at a time that suits you. During our visit we will discuss the role of a foster carer, answer any questions you might have, explain the assessment process and get to know you better. Sometimes the phone call and enquiry stage will rule you out!


You will then be asked to complete an application pack. This step formalises your application to be a foster carer and gives us all the information we need to begin our assessments.

Assessment stage 1

We will undertake a range of reference and checks. This will include a police check called a Disclosure and Barring Service (or DBS). There will be other checks such as references and medicals. These checks are really important so that we are able to make sure the children and young people in our care are protected.

Assessment stage 2

We will gather a bit more information about you, your family and your experiences. The assessing social worker looking after your case will write a detailed report and share this with you.

Journey to Foster 3 day course

We will arrange for you to take a three day course which covers the topics you will need to be help prepare you for your fostering experience.

Dorset Fostering Panel

You will be asked to attend a panel meeting with your supporting social worker. The panel meeting allows your application and assessment to be reviewed by the group. The group will then make a recommendation which will be shared with the agency decision maker who will make the final decision.

Starting to foster

Once you are approved you will be allocated your own social worker who will support you for the duration of your fostering career. It is really important that we make a match which suits you, your family and the child or young person. Depending on the circumstances this may happen quickly when you are approved or may take longer.