How to apply

Becoming an approved foster carer is an important process, and we want to make sure it is right for you and your family. To make this easy for you to understand, we have devised the following step-by-step pathway to guide you through your fostering journey.

1. Getting in touch

To begin the process, please make an enquiry.

You will then receive an information pack via email with more information about Fostering, Host & Support and the other services and support we offer in Bexley.

If you would prefer to talk to someone first to learn a bit more about fostering, give us a call on 020 3045 4400.

2. Information session

Once you have submitted your enquiry you will receive details about our upcoming information sessions.

Our information sessions are a great way to learn more about Fostering with Bexley, the assessment process and the requirements to becoming a Foster Carer.

3. Initial visit

We’ll visit you in your home at a time that is convenient to you so that we can learn more about you and your family. We will briefly discuss topics such as your family life and ability to undertake fostering. We’ll also tell you about the fostering process, and the support we give and answer any questions you may have.

This visit will tell you everything you need to know about the next stage. If you decide that fostering is not right for you and your family this is perfectly fine. Equally, we will be open and honest with you and will tell you if we do not think that your circumstances are suited to fostering with us.

At the end of a home visit, if everyone is happy to proceed, we will send you an application pack for you to complete.

4. Application pack

You will receive a formal application pack via email following your Initial visit. If you would prefer a paper copy, please advise us so we can provide you with one. The application pack will include the following:

Application form – This provides us with your details, personal references and consent to complete statutory checks on you and those living within your home. Please note that this form must be hand-signed by each applicant. To find out more on how to complete the application form, please watch the tutorial below.

Medical form - Full medicals are required for each applicant.  Part B of this form is to be completed by the applicant.  Once this has been done please contact your GP to make an appointment for your Medical. Your GP will charge a fee for this and will invoice the London Borough of Bexley directly.  If your surgery have any queries with regards to payment please ask them to contact us on 0203 045 3237.  Please do not pay the fee yourself.

Consent to Mortgage / Rented Property Checks -  This form requires you to provide details of your mortgage provider/landlord.

Please note that this form must be hand-signed by each applicant.

Consent to Medical Examination – This form requires your consent for the London borough of Bexley to complete a medical examination. This is to determine if you are considered ‘fit to foster’.

Please note that this form must be hand-signed by each applicant.

All forms (unless stated otherwise) should be returned by emailing

If you require further assistance completing the application pack, you can give us a call on 020 3045 4400 and a friendly member of the team will assist you.

5. Statutory Checks

Once you have returned your application pack, we can complete the necessary statutory checks in the following areas:

  • DBS (household members age 16+)
  • Personal references
  • Employers reference
  • Oxleas
  • Ofsted
  • Social Services
  • Local Authority
  • Medical

These checks will form part of your assessment to become a foster carer and cannot be undertaken without your signed consent.

Having a criminal record or a health problem does not necessarily mean that you will not be able to foster but it is important that you are honest with us. We need to know about these issues from the beginning so that we can discuss and understand your circumstances.

6. Assessment process

One of our experienced social workers will visit you regularly over a period of a few months to find out more about your life and experiences. This will help us to build a picture of what you and your family could bring to fostering.

The assessment process is thorough because it needs to prepare you for the challenges and rewards that fostering brings. The aim of the assessment is for us to have a good understanding of you as a person so that we can identify your strengths and areas of support.

As part of the assessment, the assessing social worker will ask you questions regarding your childhood, past and current relationships, your employment status and your ability to care for a child or young person.

We will also complete a home safety check and ask you to complete some home study questions. You will also be asked to attend our Mandatory Skills to Foster course, this will also form part of your assessment.

Further information on Skills to Foster and other Training in Bexley

7. Fostering panel

At the end of the assessment process, the information gathered will be signed by both parties and presented in a report to our Fostering Panel. This is a group of skilled and experienced individuals who have been chosen because of their wealth of knowledge about fostering. You, your assessor social worker and a supervising social worker will be asked to meet the panel and clarify any last questions you or they may have.

If the panel is satisfied that our preparation has been thorough, they will recommend your approval as a foster carer. This approval will be passed to our Agency Decision Maker who will consider the panel’s verdict and ultimately decide whether or not to accept its recommendation.

8. Fostering Begins

Once you have been approved at the panel, your fostering journey with Bexley begins! You will be added to a vacancy list which lets our team know you have a spare room ready for use.

9. Ongoing support

You will be closely supported by your Supervising Social Worker and receive ongoing training through your Personal Development Programme.

Find out more about the support we offer in Bexley

10. Payment

Once you have a child in your care, you will be paid according to Bexley’s Fostering Allowance Policy.