Recruitment and retention resources

The Fostering Network has developed a range of resources and publications to help fostering services with the recruitment and approval of foster carers.

Free resources

Needs analysis template

Created by the Department for Education and The Fostering Network, the needs analysis template is the starting point for all fostering services to inform a recruitment and retention strategy. 

Needs analysis template

Could I foster? - your chance to make a real difference to children in Wales

Funded by the Welsh Government, The Fostering Network in Wales has published Could I foster? - your chance to make a real difference to children in Wales. This free online guide on how to become a foster carer has an additional focus on encouraging more people from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communitities to come forward. It also features a section on fostering unaccompanied asylum-seeking children to encourage carers, existing and new, to support these young people. 

Download your copy of the guide in English and Welsh here. 

Resources to buy

All About Fostering

All About Fostering is a vibrant and useful addition to any information pack for potential foster carers. The glossy, unbranded publication contains information on what fostering is and why people foster, as well as case study examples to give prospective foster carers a solid introduction to fostering.

All About Fostering can be ordered in packs from 20 to 100 and also come in four different covers, depending on your audience. Prices start from just £30.

Order your copies of All About Fostering

The Skills to Foster™: Pre-approval course

The Fostering Network’s The Skills to Foster™ is the sector’s leading pre-approval training for fostering applicants.

Providing an introduction to fostering, the course – which is often run over a combination of successive weekends and evenings – covers a range of topics to equip foster carers with the basic skills they need. Modules on safer caring and identity are preceded by introductory topics on what foster carers do.

The full pack contains The Leader’s Guide, Handbook, DVD and the My Family Fosters handbook for sons and daughters. You can purchase the full pack with a 50 per cent discount for members from our bookshop. Each item is also sold separately.

The Skills to Foster™: Assessment materials

The Fostering Network’s all new The Skills to Foster™ assessment materials cover both mainstream and family and friends assessments. Innovatively designed as dynamic PDFs, the forms are structured to ensure evidenced-based reporting to aid decision makers.

The forms have also been streamlined and can be adapted to perform other assessments including those for special guardianship orders, parent and child and long-term fostering. 

The TSTF assessment materials are licenced on an annual basis. Services have the option of purchasing an implementation session and a range of assessment guides to support foster carers and staff as well as help embed the process.

For a discussion about the new materials or to view a demonstration version please contact

Mystery shopping

In a competitive market, an enquirer’s first contact and customer experience they receive from your service will influence their decision to progress their enquiry. The Fostering Network has developed a mystery shopping package to help services assess and evaluate this process. Delivered as per each service’s needs and testing metrics including engagement and depth of knowledge of the duty officer, services are provided with a summary report evaluating the process and providing a series of recommendations to potentially transform service delivery and increase the number of foster carers you recruit. 

This exercise has been extremely helpful to validate some areas of interest to us and we are already seeing the benefits in those requesting an initial visit.

To purchase the mystery shopping package, or to ask further questions, please contact us.

Recruitment consultancy

Combining a comprehensive knowledge of the fostering sector with up to date tools and techniques, The Fostering Network can provide a bespoke package of strategic recruitment support to your service.

Our associates have a wealth of senior level expertise to work alongside your team to identify and provide solutions for the challenges your service face to enhance your recruitment and retention of foster carers.

Please contact to discuss a package of support.