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How to apply

Come along to one of our information sessions. This is where you will make your official application to become a foster carer. You’ll hear from foster carers who foster with Islington and we’ll answer any questions you may have.

Coronavirus update

In response to the updated Coronavirus guidance the fostering team have suspended all drop-ins at their Elwood Street offices as well as all face-to-face information sessions in the community until further notice. You can however still read the information online and request an info pack by emailing the team or requesting one through the enquiry form.

If you have any questions you can still call the team on 0800 073 0428 or email us at:

Browse the Family Directory for details of our next session:

Islington fostering information sessions 

You don’t have to book, but you must arrive on time: these are not drop-in sessions.

Call our fostering team on 0800 073 0428, Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm. They’ll answer any questions you may have and help you decide if fostering is right for you. They can also send you an information pack. Or you can email Please tell us where you found out about fostering with Islington.

You can also drop in and talk to the recruitment team at our 3 Elwood Street, N5 1EB office, 10am – 4pm Monday-Friday.

Your fostering journey

We’ll support you through every step of your fostering journey with us, from application through to approval. The whole process takes around six months, to make sure that you have the skills and training to become a foster carer. 

Information session

This is where you meet our social workers and some foster carers, and fill out your application form.

Initial visit 

A fostering social worker will visit you at home to discuss your personal circumstances and check that your home is suitable. The visit is written up by the social worker who will then discuss with you if you can progress to the next stage.

Preparation course

The preparation course takes place over four days and is required training. You’ll work as part of a group, which consists of fostering team members, existing foster carers and other applicants. The training looks at your responsibilities and helps you prepare for some of the situations, challenges and behaviour that you may face. There will be discussion and group work with other applicants.

Stage 1: Pre-assessment 

After the preparation course you can formally apply by completing an ‘Assessment of Suitability’. We’ll carry out checks on you and other members of the household. This is a legal requirement and includes medical and police checks as well as personal and work references from people who know you well. Once we’ve done this, we’ll make a decision within 10 working days on whether to proceed to Stage 2, Full Assessment.

Stage 2: Full Assessment

A dedicated social worker will work with you through the fostering assessment. You’ll talk in detail about your life experiences and background as well as your day-to-day lifestyle, beliefs and home life. They will discuss the skills you have, how a child would fit into your family home and how this will affect you and your family.

Fostering panel

The assessment process will end with you attending a fostering panel. This consists of up to 10 people from our children’s services, education and health departments, plus councillors and an independent Chair. They will look at the report and talk to your assessor to decide whether they can recommend you as a foster carer for Islington or not.

Islington Fostering Service can stop your assessment at any time during the process; is this happens, we’ll explain the reasons to you.

What is the next step?

If you have any further questions please call the team on 0800 073 0428 or email us at

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  2. Data protection: We will handle your personal information in line with the Data Protection Act 1998 and in accordance with the council’s Fair Processing Notice.