Fostering Jargon – What does it all mean? Part 2Fostering Connections Logo 12.12.12

Entering the world of fostering means that you will start to hear a number of terms and phrases related to the care system and fostering a child. It can be a bit confusing at first, so here’s a quick guide to help you understand. This is part of the Fostering Manchester series of articles.


DBS, or the Disclosure & Barring Service, carries out the checks on a person applying to become a foster carer / go into fostering, as well as at regular intervals while they are working with children. They look for any previous criminal records or convictions that would compromise the safety of the child.

Delegated authority

As a foster carer, you may receive ‘delegated authority’ which means that you will be allowed to make decisions on particular aspects of the young person’s care, without having to refer to the child’s social worker, on things such as after-school clubs or days out.

Form F

Once you’ve made the decision to be a foster carer, and have chosen a fostering agency to work with, you will start to have meetings with a member of their team. The purpose of this is to get to know you really well, so that they can complete a ‘form F’ document which will be used by the fostering panel to ultimately decide if you are ready to become a foster carer.

Fostering panel

The final stage of the assessment process before being approved as a foster carer involves a meeting with a fostering panel. The panel consists of a small group of independent people from different backgrounds, all with an interest in fostering but from different perspectives. They will have read your form F and may have some questions to ask you before they make a decision about whether they think you’re ready to foster. You will be well supported throughout this process.

Local authority

This is the local council, usually with a children’s services department, that has overall responsibility to provide care for children born in the area, who subsequently are taken into the care system for a variety of reasons.

Fostering Manchester

This is one of a number of articles in the Fostering Manchester  Series. We will also run similar series based on Fostering LiverpoolFostering LancashireFostering ChesterFostering CheshireFostering Stockport.