The fostering journey explained

Step one

The first step to fostering is to contact us to discuss how you could make a difference to a child’s life. You can contact us by completing an online enquiry form  or by telephone for an initial discussion.

Step two

We aim to respond to queries within 48 hours and where appropriate will aim to arrange an initial home visit with a member of the fostering team within seven days. During this visit you will be able to talk through the fostering process and ask any questions that you might have. At the end of our visit, if appropriate, we will leave an application form with you to complete and return to us.

Step three

Once we’ve received your application form, you will be invited to attend our next ‘Skills to Foster’ training course. The training will be with other potential foster carers and will help to prepare you for the role. You will also have the opportunity to meet and talk to our social workers and an experienced foster carer.

Step four

You will be allocated a social worker who will visit you at your home and carry out your assessment. During the first stage of your assessment, your social worker will contact your referees and carry out a number of checks, including an Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service check. Once all checks have been completed and providing there are no concerns about your suitability to foster, we will proceed with the assessment. The second stage of your assessment is competency based and explores your life experience, relationships, support networks and family lifestyle. This helps us to identify your skills and any further training needs. Your social worker will support you through your assessment and help you decide what type of fostering would be most suitable for you and your family. The assessment itself can take up to six months to complete.

Step five

Once your assessment has been completed, you will be invited to attend the fostering panel with your social worker. The fostering panel meet on a monthly basis and will consider your application to foster in more detail. A recommendation will be made by the panel as to whether you should be approved as a foster carer. Following panel a formal decision will then be made and you will be informed of this decision in writing.

Step six

Once approved, your fostering journey will begin. You will receive ongoing training and support to help you promote positive outcomes for the children in your care, enabling them to achieve their full potential.