Assessment process – A step-by-step guide

There are 3 important stages in becoming a Foster for Plymouth Foster Carer

The assessment is one of the most important parts of your journey towards becoming a foster carer. The assessment process will be carried out by a qualified Social Worker who will assess your suitability to be a foster carer, using a document you will often hear referred to as the Form F. 

The assessment is in a three-stage process and everyone who wants to become a foster carer will be supported through the same assessment process.


The first stage of the assessment includes the collection of information from various checks and references. These checks and references are necessary to make sure all foster carers are safe and suitable to care for vulnerable children. We will talk to you about the checks and references we need to undertake when we first visit you and will also discuss them as part of the assessment, so you will have plenty of opportunities to talk to us about any questions or concerns that you may have.



During the second stage of your assessment your Social Worker will visit you regularly at home so they can really get to know you, your family and the important people in your life.

At Foster for Plymouth we value the importance of training and as part of your assessment and we will be asking you to attend our Skills to Foster training. This training covers a wide range of topics in relation to children who are looked after by the Local Authority and the foster carer role, so providing you the information necessary, as a basis, for beginning your fostering career.

When all the information has been gathered, your Social Worker will write a detailed report (Form F). This report will make a recommendation about your suitability to foster and the age and number of children you could look after. You will be asked to read and to comment on the report – but there will be no surprises because once you get to this stage you will have been fully involved and consulted throughout.

The whole process usually takes up to 4-6 months, depending on your personal circumstances. We know this may seem a very lengthy process. However, it is necessary so that we can build up a meaningful profile of you, your wider family and the fostering environment you can offer. This will help us to match our children with you after you are approved as a Plymouth foster carer.

If at any stage you or your family decide fostering is not for you, or for them you can withdraw your application and the process will stop.



Plymouth Fostering Panel is made up of a group of people with different life experiences who have an understanding and interest in fostering and looking after children.

Your report is taken to the Fostering Panel who will meet to discuss your application and make the final recommendation on whether you are approved to foster. You will be invited to attend this meeting, which may sound quite daunting, but your Social Worker will be there to support you.




Fostering for Plymouth