How to become a foster carer | How to become a foster carer | Oldham Council

Step 1: Enquiry and information pack

Call 0161 770 6600 for an information pack or complete the "Ask about becoming a foster carer" online form:

An information pack will be sent out to you within 5 working days.

If having read the pack you would like a visit, fill out the 'Request a Visit' form in the pack.

Step 2: Home visit

Once we receive your form we aim to come and see you within 10 working days.

The visit is your chance to find out about fostering and ask as many questions as you like. 

Step 3: Registration of interest

After we have been out to see you, and if you still want to continue, we will ask you to complete a Registration of Interest form.

Once we have received and accepted your Registration of Interest form, you have formally registered your interest to foster with Oldham Fostering Service.

Step 4: Stage one – the pre-assessment stage

Step 4: Stage one is about finding out if fostering is right for you and whether or not you want to proceed to the assessment stage. 

Checks and references

All prospective foster carers have to undergo a number of checks, including police checks (DBS), education, health, GP and probation.

We will also ask you to provide details of three referees, two of who whom should not be related to you.

Where appropriate, we may also need to seek references from significant ex-partners or grown up children.

Preparation groups

You will be invited to attend training, along with other prospective foster carers.

This will help you find out about fostering in a lot more detail and will give you the opportunity to meet foster carers, and find out about fostering first hand.

Pre-assessment decision

Once you have completed your training we will make a decision on your suitability to foster. 

We will write to you with our decision and if suitable, you will need to inform us of your wish to proceed to the assessment stage within six months.

We aim to complete stage one within two months of accepting your registration of interest

Step 5: Stage two – the assessment stage

Step 5: Stage two is about intensive training and assessment.

Assessment plan

The plan will give you information about the assessment process, dates for meeting/visits and any further information required.

Home study / assessment

All foster carers have to undergo an assessment (home study).

A fostering social worker will make several visits to your home and spend time getting to know you, gathering information about your skills and training needs, and discussing which child/children you might be able to support.

If you are a couple we will need to see you together and individually.

The information gathered will be used to write a report. Once the report is complete, you will have chance to comment on it. The report is then sent to Oldham Fostering Panel.

Oldham Fostering Panel

The panel is made up of fostering specialists, including social workers, foster carers and other professionals.

They will consider your report and make a recommendation on your suitability to foster.

You will be invited to the panel, along with your social worker, and you will be able to contribute to the discussion.

Agency Decision

Based on the panel’s recommendation, the agency decision maker will then decide whether or not to approve you as a foster carer.

We aim to complete stage two within four months of receiving your notification to proceed to the assessment stage.

Step 6: Placement

Once you have been approved as a foster carer, a link with a child or children will be made.