The Journey To Becoming A Foster Carer
A worker will visit you at home to explain more about fostering and the process to become a Foster Carer in more detail.
Return Formal Application
If the Home Visit goes well, we will send you the formal application form (called a Registration of Interest Form) to fill out and return to us. Once we have received this back, this starts Stage 1 of the process.
Assessment Stage One
Stage 1 involves us carrying out various statutory checks and references including a medical and criminal background check.
The medical is simply to ensure you are fit and well enough to cope with the rigours of fostering.
The criminal background check will tell us if you have any criminal cautions or convictions which would prevent you from fostering. Having previous convictions doesn’t necessarily exclude you, but it is important that you share anything that may come up so there are no surprises, and we can work through any potential issues with you.
If you have any offences against children, or sexual offences against adults, then we will not be able to progress your application to foster.
During this stage you will also need to attend the Skills to Foster preparation training which aims to give you the skills and knowledge needed to help you care for children who may have experienced neglect and abuse.
Your Assessing Social Worker will consider all the information gained during this stage in detail before making a decision about whether you can progress to Stage 2.
Assessment Stage Two
During this stage you’ll be visited regularly by your Assessing Social Worker who will assess your ability to foster and prepare your assessment report with you. This stage involves lots of conversations with you, your partner, any ex-partners, any children you may have, and wider friends and family to get a rounded picture of you and your family. Where we can we run Stage 1 and Stage 2 concurrently and work towards a 16 week timescale.
The report is then presented to the Fostering Panel which you will be invited to attend. The Panel is made up of different people who have been involved in fostering; professionals, a medical advisor, social workers, adults who were fostered as children, and foster carers etc. They will review the report in detail and make a recommendation about your suitability to foster.
Approval by ADM
The final decision about your approval, however, is made by the Agency Decision Maker. You will be advised in writing within 7 working days of the Panel making its recommendation.
Placement of Children
Once you are approved you will be allocated your own Supporting Social Worker who will visit and prepare you for your first placement. When you are ready for a placement you will be considered for any suitable matches of children who need a foster placement.