How to become a foster carer

Our foster carers are a diverse group of people from all walks of life and come from all sorts of backgrounds. However, they do have one thing in common a passion for transforming the lives of some of Scotland’s most vulnerable children and young people.

Where do I start?

Becoming a foster carer is a big decision and there are lots of things to think about before deciding whether it’s right for you.

To become a foster carer there are six steps you’ll complete, depending on your circumstances, the process can take between four and six months.

Application Process

We do all we can to make the application process as straightforward as it can be. It’s important to us that you’re always kept well informed and the process is as stress-free and smooth as possible.

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Checks and references

During your fostering application process, we carry out a number of crucial and essential checks as well as references from people you might know personally or professionally.

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foster care training

Pre-approval training

Like any career, fostering is a journey of learning. And just as there are different types of fostering, there are also different pathways you can take, depending on your interests.

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The fostering panel will take place at a venue local to you. It takes the form of a meeting made up of about eight or nine independent panel members who have related experience.

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Your first foster child

Before you start to foster you’ll be made aware of the young person’s history and why they need foster care, together with any specific needs or requirements. We’ll provide you with all the support you need.

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Matching and referrals

We spend time getting to know our foster families which allows us to highlight their skills and experience to the local authority social worker, ensuring the right match and the better the outcomes for all.

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What next?

Take a look at the application process, get in touch or read through our FAQs if you are still unsure if you can foster.

Who can apply to become a foster carer?

Anyone can apply to foster with us. We welcome foster carers from all walks of life; no matter what your gender, age, race or sexual orientation. We do have criteria though:

  • You need a spare room
  • You need to be over 21
  • You need to have British Citizenship or permanent leave to stay in the UK

Do I need any special qualifications or experience to foster?

No, we will give you all the training you need together with ongoing development and support.

Learn more about the fostering process.

What happens when I’m approved?

Upon approval you are legally able to care for a young person. Once you’ve signed a Foster Carer Agreement you’ll be allocated a supervising social worker who will take you forward. You are then ready to take your first child or young person.

Find out more.

When does my first placement start?

This depends on many factors, such as on your personal circumstances, how soon we can find a child or young person that’s right for you and vice versa making sure we doing the right thing for everyone involved. We get new referrals from local authorities every day, so you might not have to wait very long.

You’ll be in regular contact with your supervising social worker and they’ll discuss the needs of the young person before they’re placed with you, you will also have the opportunity to ask any questions. Your supervising social worker will organise wherever possible for you to meet the child before. We want to make this transition as comfortable and as smooth as possible for you and your family.

More FAQs

Got some more questions?
Find out the answers here.

view faqs

Interested in becoming a foster carer with FCA Scotland?

Do you have the skills and compassion needed to be a foster carer? Enter your town or postcode to find your nearest office or get in touch today.

Find your local office by selecting your region below

Speak to our team

Whether you're ready to start your journey or just want
to chat to an expert, we're here to help.

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Can’t find what you’re looking for?

By Phone

Call a member of our friendly fostering team and they'll be able to answer all your questions.

0141 646 4805

Visit an office

We're always happy for you to pop in for a chat.

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