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A foster carer’s journey

Our foster carers tell us that fostering a dog improves their wellbeing and reduces feelings of loneliness. On top of that, they know that they're helping both a dog and a family to escape domestic abuse.

If you're interested in opening up your home and heart to a foster dog, our Freedom team will take you through the following steps... 

Step 1: Application 

To help us determine a suitable foster match for you, we will initially ask you to complete an application form. This form gives us an overview of your experience and type of home you can offer to a foster dog. This allows us to ensure we are able to continue with your application.

Step 2: Home Visit

Following your initial application, we will arrange to visit you at your home. Ideally, we would like to meet the whole family together at the visit including any other pets you may have.

The home visit is an opportunity for you to meet a Freedom Project team member who will be able to answer any queries or concerns you have and help you decide if this volunteering opportunity is right for you.

We will also discuss any other pets you may have, so we can ensure the foster dog is a suitable match for you and your pets. We will also want to ensure your existing pets will be happy sharing their home with a foster dog.

At the end of the home visit, we will ask you to sign up to our ‘Volunteer Foster Carer agreement’ which outlines your responsibilities as a foster carer and our obligations to you as a volunteer.

Step 3: References 

Following the home visit, we will check your references and write to you to let you know if you have been successful in becoming a foster carer.

Step 4: Waiting for a match

Once we  have  confirmed you have been successful, you will automatically be added to our file of available foster carers. You don’t need to do anything else, unless you have any changes to your situation, in which case we ask that you notify us. Please be aware that it may take anything from a matter of days to up to several weeks before we are able to find you a suitable foster match. It may take longer if you already have children, existing pets or have additional requirements.

This is because we want to ensure we are matching the right dog to your home and family.

Step 5: Dog Offer

Once a dog has been referred to us, and we identify you as a suitable foster match for that dog, we will call you to check your availability and provide you with information about the dog. If you would like to go ahead with the placement, a member of the Freedom Project team will arrange to collect the dog from the owner and bring the dog directly to your home at an agreed time. 

Step 6: Placement 

On the day we bring your foster dog to you, we will bring all the equipment your foster dog needs throughout their stay, including:

– A collar with an ID tag

– Lead and, if required, harness

– Bed and bedding

– Toys

– Poo bags

– Food and bowls

– Brushes

We will talk you through all the information you need to know about the foster dog, such as their usual routine and any training or medical needs they may have.

Ongoing support 

Once your foster dog has settled in, you will receive the ongoing support and guidance from our friendly Freedom team. We will carry out monthly home visits to see how you're getting along and if you need any support at all with your new foster dog. We will also take photos and post these to your foster dog's family, keeping them update of how their beloved dog is getting along. 

Whilst your foster dog stays with you, our experienced team will be alongside you every step of the way. 

Benefits of fostering 

Ready to apply?

We are always in need of more foster carers to care for dogs escaping domestic abuse.

Apply now

Frequently Asked Questions

Would you like to know more about fostering for the Freedom Project?

Read our FAQs