Statutory guidance

Fostering services: assessment and approval of foster carers

Statutory guidance for local authorities on the assessment and approval process of foster carers for looked-after children.

Applies to England



This guidance is for local authorities and their staff, including:

  • children’s services social workers
  • supervising social workers
  • front-line managers who have particular responsibilities in relation to looked-after children
  • directors of children’s services
  • managers of services for looked-after children
  • commissioners of services for looked-after children

It is also relevant to independent fostering services and foster carers. Looked-after children and the families of looked-after children may also have an interest.

This guidance replaces the following paragraphs of volume 4 ‘Children Act 1989: fostering services’:

  • 5.29 to 5.38 (assessment and approval of foster carers)
  • 5.42 to 5.44 (independent review mechanism)
  • 5.46 to 5.53 (the usual fostering limit)
  • 5.59 to 5.63 (reviews and terminations of approval of foster carers)
  • 5.39 to 5.41 (the decision maker)
Published 15 July 2013