The application process usually takes approximately 4 months and follows the process below.
Return your application form
The first stage of the process is completing our application form. You should have received this with your information guide. We will need all of the information inside. You can complete the application form and post back to us, or give us a ring if you’d prefer that we come out and see you first (initial visit).
One of our Supervising Social Workers will come out to visit you and talk with you about fostering. They might have a look around your home to make sure you have a spare room, and see if there’s any health and safety features you might need to think about. After this visit, we will let you know if we’re able to begin your assessment.
During your assessment you will have a dedicated Supervising Social Worker, who will work with you to complete a Form F Assessment. This will include visits to you,. Your Form F will include:
- Exploration of your life experiences, including your childhood, past relationships and any significant events.
- Collecting references from your friends and employers
- A medical check from your GP
- Other checks with Local Authorities, schools or other agencies.
- An Enhanced DBS Check
Skills to Foster
You will be invited to attend the Skills to Foster training. All foster carers need to complete this before they are approved to look after children. The course will be 3 days long, and your supervising social worker will let you know when to attend. Here you will meet other carers and learn a lot about the fostering experience.
Once you have completed training and your Form F is ready to be presented your Supervising Social Worker will decide a date for you to go to panel. You will sign your Form F before panel to say you are in agreement. The panel will be a group of professionals – such as teachers, social workers, care leavers – who will discuss your application with you and your Supervising Social Worker and make a recommendation as to whether you should be approved and for how many children.
Decision by Agency Decision Maker
The Agency Decision Marker holds the final say on approval of Foster Carers. They will look at all paperwork and panel recommendations and make the decision to approve.
As soon as you are approved, you are able to look after children. We will assign a Supervising Social Worker who will support you throughout, especially for your first placement!
There will be a number of training programs you will attend in your first year as well as supervision and chances to meet other foster carers.