The fostering process

Below is an outline of the assessment process highlighting key stages you will go through to become a foster carer. This usually takes between four to six months.

The stages

Initial contact

Make your initial enquiry online or call your local authority who will answer any questions you may have. You can request an information pack and get more details about our upcoming information sessions where you can learn more about fostering.

Initial visit

A member of the team will visit you in your home to discuss your personal circumstances and check the suitability of your property. This is a great opportunity for us to get to know you a little better and if fostering is right for you.

Stage 1

During Stage 1 you will be required to complete the application form, Skills to Foster training, medical, police and other background checks on you and members of the household. 

Stage 2 

In Stage 2 you will be allocated an assessing social worker who will work with you through your assessment. They will talk to you in detail about your life experiences and background as well as your day-to-day lifestyle and beliefs. They will also discuss the skills you have and how they can support a child within your home. 

On average, a fostering assessment (stages 1 & 2) can take between 3-8 months.

Fostering panel

Once the assessment is finished, the social worker will write an assessment report which is presented to the fostering panel. The report should accurately reflect who you are; you will be able to point out anything you may not agree with before you go to panel.

The fostering panel consists of a group of independent members and professionals from health care and social work backgrounds. The panel's role is to make a recommendation to the agency decision maker on the suitability of those who apply to become foster carers. 

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