Foster Carer Exit Interview Toolkit

The Fostering Network received funding from The Exilarch’s Foundation in 2018/19 to explore the development of an exit interview toolkit for fostering services to capture all of the reasons why foster carers leave their services. This information can then be used by the service to improve practice and inform foster carer retention and recruitment strategies. 

The toolkit created is free to use for members of The Fostering Network.

Project overview

The Foster Carer Retention Project aimed to support fostering services to:

  • capture all of the reasons why foster carers leave their fostering service
  • identify the optimum timings for processing exit interviews
  • identify any themes as to the reasons why foster carers choose to leave
  • create a robust process for future exit interviews
  • embed learning to enhance retention and subsequent recruitment of foster carers.

The Exit Interview Toolkit

The result of this work is the creation of a four-part exit interview toolkit, consisting of the following elements:

  • Exit interview guide for fostering services: using the toolkit - This is a short report and ‘how to’ guide, designed to enable those who will use the toolkit to understand how our learning has contributed to the overall vision for the toolkit, and how to use the toolkit in practice.
  • Exit interview discussion guide - This guide explains the two-part process to completing an exit interview for foster carers, and a sample of questions to ask and areas to cover. 
  • Information for foster carers leaving their service - This guide for foster carers provides information on some of the actions those leaving their service or stopping fostering altogether need to undertake or, in the instance of tax returns for example, continue to do
  • Data collection tool - This table enables fostering services to collect data from the exit interview, which can be used to inform future practice and improve foster carer retention.

The exit interview toolkit is free to download and use for our members. The Fostering Network can also provide a service to undertake foster carer exit interviews on behalf of your fostering service. Please contact to enquire.

Project activity 

The Foster Carer Retention Project ran from April 2018 to April 2019. Thank you to everyone who participated in this project through focus groups, online surveys and through the pilot phase in the design of the final toolkit. You can read the project report to learn the steps we undertook in order to create these resources. 

Please contact if you have any questions regarding the exit interview toolkit or the work undertaken as part of the Foster Carer Retention Project.