To ensure all children and young people placed with our foster carers are safe and secure, there is an important, in-depth, assessment process that all applicants must go through before being approved as a foster carer.

Initial Enquiry
If you are interested in becoming a carer and would like to find out more information, our staff would be happy to speak with you. There are several ways you can contact us:

  • Fill in the enquiry form below
  • Call us on 0800 634 5300
  • Email us at


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Information Pack
Thank you for your interest in fostering with CANW. We are delighted that you are looking to be a foster carer and are considering your future with CANW. As social workers, support staff and parents, we fully appreciate the role of foster carers in bringing about positive change in children’s lives.

Our information pack is designed to give you an introduction to fostering with CANW in order to help you make the life changing, but very rewarding, decision to become a foster carer.

Initial Visit
After receiving your information pack if you would like to progress you application further we will arrange for a member of our team to organise an initial visit.

During this visit they will discuss the process of becoming a foster carer and answer any queries you may have.

Application Pack

After your initial visit you will be required to fill out an application form. This will be sent out to you shortly after your visit.

Assessment Process

Form F
Once you have completed your application pack, you will be allocated a Supervising Social Worker to undertake a full assessment with you. The report they produce is known as the ‘Form F’. This report will cover your background, relationships and partnerships, your support network, children in the household or those living elsewhere, other family members who may live with you, a description of family life and your experiences. We will also ask for information on your financial stability. The assessment process takes place over a number of home visits and involves all members of the household.

During your assessment you will be asked to attend the 2 day Skills to Foster training course which are usually held on a Saturday. The course covers the many aspects of fostering and allows you an opportunity to meet existing foster carers and members of the fostering panel and ask any questions you may have. It is also a great opportunity to meet other people going through the assessment process.

During the assessment CANW will request a variety of statutory checks and references that will have been discussed with you at your initial home visit and which you will have consented to. These include:

  • Enhanced CRB (Criminal Record Bureau) check
  • Local Authority Checks
  • Employer references including any previous employment that has involved working with children or vulnerable adults
  • Personal references, referees will ideally need to have known you for over 5 years and will be visited by a Social Worker
  • School reports on children within the household
  • Medical reports from your GP
  • Overseas checks where applicants have lived or worked abroad
  • Ex-partners (except in exceptional circumstances)
  • Grown-up children and children from a previous relationship

Approval Panel
Once your Form F and all the checks are completed you will have the opportunity to read the report and discuss it with your Supervising Social Worker. You will then be given a date to attend the fostering panel where your report will be considered by the members of the panel. The panel consists of a number of independent professionals and staff from CANW. They will ask you and your Supervising Social Worker relevant questions about your Form F, ask you about the assessment process and give you the opportunity to ask any questions you may have.

Approved Foster Carer Status
The fostering panel will make their recommendations to CANW and you will be advised of this on the night. However the final decision is made by the Agency Decision Maker, the Chief Executive Officer of CANW, and once approved by them, you will be informed in writing. You will then undertake an induction with your named Supervising Social Worker and the placements team will begin matching you to suitable placements and profiling you to the Local Authority.
After 6 months Foster Carers are invited back to Panel to update them with their progress.

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