Seven Simple Steps to Becoming a Foster Carer
Are you ready to begin your foster care journey? To help you along we explain the application process in seven simple steps.
Step One – Contact us
The very first step is simple – contact us either over the phone on 029 2000 2893 or by using the contact form on our website. When you speak with our team you can be sure you are in safe hands. They will tell you a little more about fostering and answer any questions you may have. They will also ask you a few simple, initial questions to establish if fostering is right for you and then arrange a home visit.
This is the first step on your fostering journey…
Step Two – The home visit
The home visit is designed to get to know you better and provides more in-depth information on what you can expect as a foster carer. A qualified member of our team will make the visit and you’ll be given another opportunity to ask any questions you may have.
We encourage you to ask as many questions as possible here so you can fully understand all there is to know about fostering and what it will mean to you.
Step Three – Filling out the forms
As with any application process, there are a number of forms to complete. This is often more so with fostering due to the nature of the work that you will be undertaking. Caring for children is a very important and specialised job, so we need to make sure that we know each other well. Don’t worry though, as your form will be completed with the help of your assigned social worker who will arrange several home visits to get to know you better and help you complete the various stages of the application form.
Step Four – Assessment
The assessment is the most important part of the application process and can take anywhere from four to eight months to complete. As part of the assessment process we will carry out various background checks as well as health, financial and criminal records. As we am sure you can appreciate, these are important checks as we need to ensure that all our children are placed in safe, secure homes. However, this part of the process isn’t as daunting as it sounds as your dedicated social worker will be with you every step of the way to help and guide you throughout.
Step Five – Skills to Foster course
While you’re waiting for the assessment process to complete, you’ll attend our Skills to Foster course. This doesn’t just adequately prepare and equip you with the skills required, it also lets you meet other foster carers who can let you know exactly what it’s like to be one of our foster carers and what to expect next.
Occasionally, we may ask you to complete this course before the assessment takes place. However, this will be determined during your home visit.
Step Six – Panel meeting
Once the assessment has been fully completed, you’ll be required to meet with a panel of professionals who come from care, foster and educational backgrounds.
Once again, you will be fully supported and won’t be alone during this meeting, your social worker will be right there with you to support throughout.
The purpose of the panel is for them to carry out one final check over all of the information that has been gathered throughout the assessment process. They will then announce the outcome of the process and let you know if you are approved as a foster carer.
You’ll be well prepared for this meeting ahead of time so no need to be nervous!
Step Seven – Acceptance and first placement
Once you have past the panel meeting, you’ll officially be one of our foster carers!
Our team will use all of the information you have provided to us to match you with your first placement, and your foster carer journey will begin.
Whilst there may be a lot to take in, the main thing to remember is that you are never alone at any point in the process. Our friendly team are with you every step of the way explaining everything to you fully and answering any questions you may have along the way.