Fostering assessment process
We assess all foster carers to make sure they are suitable for fostering. This includes employment references, a medical examination, and police checks. The assessment process usually takes about four to six months.
You can make your enquiry online, over the phone or in person at one of our events. We ask for a few details about you to kickstart your application, such as your key motivations for fostering and the type of fostering you’re interested in.
- Initial home visit
We will visit you at your home and explain the role of a foster carer, answer any questions, explain the assessment process in greater detail and learn about you.
- 'Skills to foster' course
This is a short learning course which typically takes place over three consecutive Saturdays. This is an opportunity for you to decide if fostering is right for you and meet like-minded people.
- Assessment stage one
We will undertake a wide range of references and checks during this process, including a police check known as a DBS. This is to help us safeguard the children in our care.
- Assessment stage two
Your assessing social worker will write a detailed report, called a Form F, which will be shared with you.
- 'Preparation to foster' course
This three-day course covers a range of topics to prepare you for your first fostering experience. You will undertake ‘Preparation to Foster’ and your first aid training as close to your panel date as possible.
- Starting to foster
Once you are approved, you will be allocated a supervising social worker who will support you during you fostering career. As soon as you are approved we can place children with you. Our focus is ensuring the arrangement is a good match for yourself, your family and the child/young person. Sometimes this can be very soon and other times there is a wait depending on the needs of our children and the type of care you are offering.
From the outside, it can appear to be a daunting process, but rest assured, the support received throughout makes it all worthwhile.