Find out about the process and steps involved in becoming a foster carer.
We know how daunting it can be to make the first contact with us on your fostering journey however our team is on and when you call or enquire have an informal chat and answer your initial questions, talking through with you whether fostering would be right for you.
Preparation and training
After the initial informal chat, we will arrange a convenient time for a virtual visit where we aim to find out more about you and your family. If you and our team are happy to move forward, you will be invited to attend one of our Skills to Foster preparation-training groups along with other people who are applying to be foster carers. The groups are not only great preparation but also a great way to build up another support network for your journey.
Next, we will ask you to complete a formal application form - this is the start of stage 1 of the formal process, which can take up to six months in total. We will undertake statutory checks on you, and anyone else in your household aged over 18, this is standard procedure for any fostering agency.
We work with the Disclosure and Barring Service, education and health services and your doctor. You will also need to nominate a number of personal referees that we can contact so it is a good time to have a chat with family and friends so they can support you through the whole process.
Working with you
Stage 2 then begins. You will be assigned one of our social workers who, over a number of visits, will explore all the possible issues involved with becoming a foster carer and how it will impact on you and your family.
They will then prepare a report that you will be able to comment on. The completed report is then considered formally by our panel and a decision will be reached about whether to approve you as a foster carer. A recommendation is also made about the age, number of children and type of foster care that would be most suitable for you.
The good news is if you are approved, we can then start the process of matching you with your first placement. Don’t worry - we will continue to support you through this and throughout all your following placements, with ongoing training, regular events, support groups and experienced fostering social workers on hand. We are always on hand to ensure our carers are supported by a fantastic and knowledgeable team around them.