Understanding the Foster Care Application Process
Before you become a foster carer you will need to go through the application process. Some people can find the prospect of this daunting, but it really needn’t be. To help you understand more about what to expect, we’ve put together this short guide.
Initial contact and your home visit
The very first thing you’ll need to do is let us know that you are interested in becoming as member of our fantastic team of foster carers. There are two ways you can do this, by calling 01233 712030 or visiting www.fosteringsolutions.com/contact.
Our friendly team will have an initial chat with you about fostering and answer any questions you may have. This initial chat is usually quite brief. If you are interested in continuing exploring becoming a foster carer we will arrange for a member of our team to come and visit you at your home.
The home visit allows us to get to know you better and gives you the opportunity to ask any questions you may have. It’s an informal visit and you’re under no obligation to continue with the application process with us after the visit.
If you do decide to continue then we will assign you a social worker who will assist you with the next steps of the process which includes completing the application forms.
Filling out the paperwork
The main form to be completed is known as ‘Form F’. This form is completed with your social worker as they get to know more about you and your personal situation. This form is an essential part of the application process and will be used to help inform the final stage, the panel meeting. This is where it is determined if you will be able to become a foster carer.
Once the paperwork has been filled out, the assessment process begins. This can take between four and eight months to complete and consists of various financial, health, and criminal checks. We have a stringent assessment process in place to ensure all of our carers are suitable to care for vulnerable children.
You will be kept informed throughout the assessment by your social worker and also given the opportunity to take our Skills to Foster training course while you are waiting. This course is designed to ensure you have all the skills and knowledge you need to begin fostering. It also introduces you to existing foster carers who can provide you with extra advice and support.
The panel meeting
If the panel decide to accept your application, you will be approved and then matched with your very first placement.
If you want to learn more about the application process or are interested in taking that first step to becoming a foster carer, call our team on 01233 712030.