You can foster with a local authority or with an independent fostering service. Can you foster? Can you change lives? Take our quick survey.

The term “Local authority” refers to the local council for each area. This could be a town or city or a county (for example Birmingham City Council, The London Borough of Brent, Kent County Council).  Each local authority usually has their own fostering service. In addition, there are numerous independent fostering providers. These may be run by charities or private companies, and they provide foster placements for children on behalf of local authorities.

Children come into the care of the local authority where they live. That local authority will place the child in the most appropriate placement (foster care, residential care or other arrangement). When seeking the most appropriate placement, the local authority will look for available placements within their own fostering service and with independent fostering providers.

You may choose to foster either for a local authority or an independent fostering provider (agency). It is worth doing some research before deciding who you wish to apply to foster for as once you are approved by a fostering service you cannot be approved by another unless you transfer or resign.

To find a fostering service in your area, click here. To speak to a Fosterline adviser for independent and impartial advice; call in confidence on 0800 040 7675.


Can you foster? Can you change lives? There is a constant need for foster carers with a shortfall of around 9,000 in this year alone. Don’t delay; start the process today.

Find out if you fit the criteria to foster by completing our quick online survey. (only 11 tick box questions)

Call Fosterline in confidence to find out more about becoming a foster carer on 0800 040 7675. Qualified Fosterline Advisers are available 9.00am to 5.00pm, Monday to Friday.

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