The application and assessment process to become a foster carer takes approximately 5 to 6 months from when you first contact us.
1. Contact us
2. Application stage
We will visit your home to talk to you about fostering. We will ask you about your background and the reasons why you want to foster. We also need to take a look around your home to assess suitability.
If we think it's the right thing for you to foster, we send you an application form.
3. Assessment stage 1
Once we have received your application form we will carry out the necessary checks and references.
You will then be invited to attend the Skills to Foster training course. The course is a number of sessions and is usually ran over one or two weekends or once a week in the evening for 6 weeks. The course will prepare you for what to expect when you start fostering.
We assign you an experienced foster carer 'buddy' who will support you through the process and your first year of fostering.
Stage 1 usually lasts around 2 months.
4. Assessment stage 2
Your assessing social worker will visit you at home 8 to 10 times to gather information for the assessment, they will need to speak to everyone in the home.
Your social worker will complete an assessment report and share this with you.
Stage 2 usually lasts around 3 to 4 months.
5. Approval stage
You will attend a panel meeting with your assessing social worker. The panel will have read your assessment report and will ask you some questions. They will then make a recommendation whether you should be approved to foster.
The panel recommends whether to approve you and our Agency Decision Maker makes the final decision.
After this you will be an approved foster carer.