The fostering journey

We need to be sure anyone offering a home to Hampshire children is thoroughly assessed to make sure they are suitable for fostering. This means checking employment references, taking a full medical and making the necessary police checks. The entire journey takes an average of four to six months but we aim to do this as quickly as possible.

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The fostering journey steps


Initial Application and Welcome Call

You can make your enquiry online, over the phone or in person at one of our virtual or in-person events. We ask for details about you to kickstart your initial application, such as your key motivations for fostering and the type of fostering you’re interested in. You’ll then receive a welcome call answering any questions you may have and providing full details of next steps in the journey.


Introductory visit

We will visit you at virtually or in-person at your home and discuss the role of a foster carer, answer any questions, explain the process to becoming a foster carer in greater detail and learn more about you. We will also undertake a health and safety screening.


Stage One Assessment

In stage one of your Prospective Foster Carer assessment we will support you in completing your prospective foster carer application forms, and start your checks and references including a DBS. You will also need to undertake a GP Health Assessment.

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'Skills to Foster' Part One

Skills to Foster is a nationally recognised training course which introduces you and prepares you for the world of fostering. You’ll be able to meet like-minded people during the virtual sessions and hear from our experienced foster carers first hand. The sessions are offered over a variation of evenings or daytimes to help fit around your dairy. See our section on ‘Training’ above to learn more about our development opportunities.


Stage Two Assessment

In stage two of your Prospective Foster Carer Assessment we will continue to support you through the process a series of 8-12 virtual and in person assessment visits. We will also book you on to a Paediatric first aid course as close to your fostering panel date as possible and provide support for the fostering panel, the final stage in the journey.


'Skills to Foster' Part Two

All Prospective Foster Carers need to complete stage two of skills to foster training, offered virtually and in person. It builds on the skills and knowledge already learnt in stage one and better prepares prospective foster carers to welcoming the first child into their home. Stage two focuses on safeguarding, safer caring and how a secure safe base can be created to help a child settle into the home. It also provides you with an opportunity to meet other Foster Carers and the wider fostering team.

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Hampshire Fostering Panel

Hampshire Fostering Panel members will consider the information in your Prospective Foster Carer Assessment (Form F) and give a recommendation about your approval. You will be asked to attend this fostering panel meeting and will be supported by your assessing social worker. The recommendation then goes to the Agency Decision Maker for a final decision.


Starting to foster

As soon as you are approved, we can place children with you. Sometimes this can be very soon and other times there is a wait, depending on the needs of our children and the type of care you are offering. Once you are approved, you will be allocated a supervising social worker who will support you as you begin life as a foster carer.

Download our information pack

Discover everything you need to know about how to foster with Hampshire County Council Fostering Service with our comprehensive information pack.

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fostering information brochure