The Fostering Process
We would love to hear from you and talk to you about your skills and the qualities you can offer to Foster Care for a child! We welcome your enquiry and are happy to have an informal chat.
When you make an enquiry either by email, web or phone, a Social Worker will discuss fostering with you and answer any questions you may have and if appropriate, arrange an Initial Home Visit to discuss your interest further.
- Fostering Preparation Training Groups: Following the initial visit with the Social Worker, should you decide to proceed and if deemed suitable, you will be invited to attend one of our Training Groups. This consists of six sessions, each being about three hours long, held on full days and evenings. After training if both parties are in agreement you will be given an Official Application Form.
- When the application is screened and accepted an Assessing Social Worker will be assigned to you – to begin your Assessment to become a Foster Carer.
The Assessment Stages
Assessment begins and Checks carried out:
The Assessment Process will require several checks including:
- Enhanced criminal records (DBS) checks for the applicant(s) and people over 18 living in the family home.
- Medical with your own GP.
- Four References: two personal plus one family member and a current or last employer for each applicant where there is no employer a professional reference will be sought.
Stage 2 begins when the checks are completed which usually takes about four weeks from when requested.
This consists of several visits (at least six) from your allocated Assessing Social Worker. You and your Assessing Social Worker will prepare a report about you and your family and what you can offer to Fostering. You will then be given the opportunity to read the completed Assessment Form and discuss any amendments if necessary. Then the report will be presented to our Fostering Panel.
The entire process usually takes about four months from application.
Assessment Report is presented to Fostering Panel
Your completed Assessment Report is presented to the Fostering Panel (which is made up of various professionals and independent people including Foster Carers) for recommendation of approval. Applicants will attend the panel with their Assessing Social Worker.
The Panel’s recommendation
After a discussion the Fostering Panel then makes the recommendation about the suitability of the applicants to the Agency Decision Maker who will make a decision based on the Panel’s recommendation.
The applicants are then informed verbally and in writing of the decision.
The Local Authorities will then be informed of the availability of the Foster Carer.
You are now approved as a Professional Foster Carer
At any time throughout this whole process, you may decide to withdraw your application. It may be that you want to delay your application for a while. This will not affect any future application you would wish to make to the service. During the whole approval process we are here to support and guide you.