It's a good idea to look over a group's foster home contract in advance to make sure you like what you see. Will they help you with obedience training? Vet care? Your family vacations? How will they problem solve and promote?
In return for being a good support system for you, your group will want to know that you're willing to follow their guidelines and instructions and that you'll be good about communicating questions and concerns that will undoubtedly come up along the way. No question is stupid - really. Ask, ask, ask.
An experienced group will want to get to know you, your lifestyle and your skill level before giving you a dog to foster. They'll want to see if your personal dog has good manners and if he's comfortable with sharing his home. (Your dog doesn't have to be friends with your foster dog - but he should tolerate its presence. More on that later.) They'll also want to make sure that everyone in your household is okay with the project and willing to participate in some way, especially, with double-checking those doors and gates, and reinforcing the new house manners you'll be teaching the dog.
These are some beginning need-to-knows offered to us by BR trainer Linda Chwistek. Linda is usually repping 1-3 dogs for BR. That means she's over-seeing the details of 'her' dogs' progress and making herself available to the foster homes as questions come up. Anyone who fosters with Linda learns a ton about dog training - lucky them.
Above: Christine Allen and her son Sam. This family fostered Vick dog 'Teddles' until he found his home. Photos: Carol Guzy, Washington Post.