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What happens next?

The recruitment process

This provides the opportunity for people to ask any questions and have an initial discussion about their own personal circumstances

0800 169 6321 – feel free to contact us as many times as you wish.


This is either virtual or in person If you wish to proceed with becoming a foster carer we will arrange a home visit either virtually, via video call, or in person, to answer further questions and to find out more about your family and personal circumstances.


When we both agree to proceed with a fostering assessment, we will send an application form for you to complete and return.


Once your application form is received, you will be allocated a social worker to start your fostering assessment. We aim for the fostering assessment to last no more than four months (although there can occasionally be delays).


During the fostering assessment we will complete police checks and you will be asked to book a health assessment with your GP. We will also obtain references and interview at least two of your referees. Alongside this you will meet with your social worker to talk about yourself and your family. We will find out about your support network and any particular skills or experience you will bring to your role as a foster carer.


During your assessment you will be invited to a “Skills to Foster” course. This course aims to provide you with an introduction to the role of a foster carer, the professionals you will be working with and how to care for a child in your home.


When your fostering assessment has been completed, all your information will be brought together in a report, which you will read before it is shared with fostering panel. The fostering panel consists of a variety of people, including professionals and lay people, who have a special interest and experience relevant to fostering 

Welcome to the Wiltshire Fostering Family – If the fostering panel recommend that you are approved as a foster carer, a senior manager will make the final decision within 10 days. Once you are approved you will be welcomed into the Wiltshire fostering family.


The assessment process

If you've already been a foster carer or have relevant skills and experience in childcare we may 'fast-track' your application.

The fostering assessment is always carried out by a qualified social worker and they will involve you throughout. You'll be able to read and comment on their report, which will make a recommendation about your suitability to foster.

The fostering panel is made up of professionals and laypersons connected to fostering e.g. a foster carer or health professional. The panel makes a recommendation to a senior manager, who then makes the final decision on your suitability as a foster carer. Once you're approved, you'll meet your supervising social worker and together we can start matching you to children needing a foster family.

Stage one – Checking you’re safe and suitable for vulnerable children

Stage two – The fostering assessment and panel interview


If you and your family decide fostering isn’t for you, you can withdraw your application at any stage.


We've been fostering a gorgeous eight year old boy for nearly two years. Initially for respite and then short term. He never used to smile…could barely read or write…grunted more than talked and survived on very little sleep.

Now he smiles all the time, reads better than some of his classmates, corrects our spoken English, has had a headteacher's award for his handwriting, rarely stops chattering away and sleeps 12 hours a night.

Foster carer

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Register your interest

Register your interest in fostering with Wiltshire Council

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Last updated: 22 May 2020 | Last reviewed: 22 May 2020