How to Foster a Child with Five Rivers Fostering

There are 10 steps to becoming a Foster Carer with Five Rivers Fostering Service

Initial Enquiry

You can contact our carer recruitment team either by phone or online to make an enquiry and they will gather some key information about you and your circumstances.

Initial Home Visit

Once you have completed your initial enquiry our Carer Recruitment Officer will contact you to discuss your interest in fostering further and if appropriate will arrange an initial home visit and send you an application form.

Once the initial home visit has taken place, and upon receipt of your completed application form, Five Rivers will allocate you one of our qualified social workers to undertake a comprehensive assessment, referred to as the Form F.


Stage One:

In order for Five Rivers to decide if your circumstances are right to foster we will first collect the following information:

Your full name, address and date of birth; details of your health, supported by a medical report; particulars of other household members; particulars of children in your family (whether or not they are members of the household) and any other children in the household; particulars of your accommodation; the outcome of any previous request or application made by you to foster or adopt children; the name and address of any fostering service you have been an approved foster carer for in the preceding 12 months; the names and addresses of two persons who will provide personal references for you; the outcome of an enhanced.

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Certificate for everyone within the household aged 18 years+; information from the local authority in whose area that you live, if this is different to the fostering service and interviews with at least two personal referees and if you have been an approved foster carer for another fostering service in the preceding twelve months, request a written reference from that fostering service. Within 10 days of receiving this information we will write to inform you of our decision and if successful, we will proceed to:
Stage Two:

Your social worker will visit your home a minimum of 7 – 10 times to carry out the Form F Assessment, which covers all relevant information about you and members of your family household, your background, all previous relationships, family lifestyle and the skills, knowledge and experience you have in relation to caring for children and young people.

The assessment is a joint process and needs full participation from applicants and their family.

Preparation Training

During the assessment all of our foster carers complete the preparation training course called `Skills to Foster’. The course is focused on preparing you for fostering.
Following your approval, on-going training and development is provided to;
Ensure you receive a comprehensive induction training programme
Improve your knowledge and continuously develop your knowledge and skills in relation to fostering
Ensure that you are competent and confident in safer caring and in protecting children and young people from harm
Encourage you to take responsibility for your own professional development


Your social worker concludes your assessment with a report that, excluding references, is shared with you. You then attend our fostering panel with your social worker and the Form F assessment report is presented to them. The panel is group of appointed people who will make a recommendation in relation to your application to become approved as foster carers and provide the reasons for their recommendation.

Once the recommendation has been made we will inform you both verbally and in writing to let you know if you have been approved as foster carers.


Once approved our Placements Officers start working to carefully match you with a child or young person.


Once a suitable match has been identified, you will be provided with information about the child or young person, if you decide to go ahead then the placement is made.

Training and Support

You will receive comprehensive training and will be fully supported by your own supervising social worker and your local fostering team.
This process normally takes 4 – 6 months from start to finish, but most of our approvals are completed within 5 months.