The fostering process

Becoming an approved foster carer can feel like an intense and lengthy process. That’s why we will be with you every step of the way, offering our support and guidance.

There are six stages to becoming a foster carer and, depending on your circumstances, the process can take about five months. This may sound like a long time, but it’s vital that you’re given all the information you need, so that you can fully understand what fostering involves.

During the process we get to know you and your family. This allows us to determine the qualities you have to offer a child, the areas in which you would benefit from training, and helps us to consider the right placement for you.

1 Initial enquiry

This is where we collect basic information about you and if applicable, your partner. This includes full names, addresses, property details, background information, and so on. This can be carried out over the phone.

2 Home visit

A member of the Local Fostering team comes to visit you in your home. It gives us an opportunity to speak with you in more detail about your background and reasons for wanting to foster. It also allows us to see your home and determine whether it is a suitable environment for a child. You have a further opportunity to ask any questions or relay any concerns about becoming a foster carer before making an actual application.

3 Application

If, after the initial enquiry and the home visit, both you and Local Fostering believe that fostering is right for you, you can make a formal application. A member of the team will be able to guide you through this.

4 Training

Once you have applied, we ask that you attend a pre-approval training course. This will give you a deeper understanding of what the fostering role entails.

5 Assessment

Upon your application being accepted, an assessing social worker will be allocated to you and make a plan to meet with you regularly. These visits will allow us to learn even more about you as a person, in order to compile a full assessment of your suitability as a foster carer.

6 Panel process

The assessing social worker records everything in a document called a ‘Form F.’ This form is then presented to a fostering panel who evaluate the document and make a recommendation about your approval as a foster carer. Once a recommendation has been made, a senior manager in the fostering service will make a final decision about your approval.

Join our fostering family
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