Becoming a foster carer
Making the decision to become a foster carer doesn’t happen overnight. If you do decide to choose to foster with us, it’s important to know we are there for you every step of the way.
We put you at the heart of everything we do. We’re committed to offering you support and guidance whenever you need it, from the first contact, right throughout your fostering journey.
There are several steps to becoming a foster carer.
1. Contact us
Give the team a call or fill in the online enquiry form. One of our experienced social workers will speak to you and answer any questions you may have. An information pack will be sent out to you.
2. Meet and greet
Attend a virtual information session.
3. Still interested?
Submit a registration of interest – this gives us written consent to start checks such as DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service), and health and local authority checks.
4. Home visit
We will arrange for an initial visit to your home so we can get to know you a bit better and assess your living space to see if you have the room to foster. We will talk to you about your experiences, skills and your reasons for wanting to become a foster carer.
Based on the visit, the social worker will then draft a short written assessment. If, after completing the initial assessment visit we feel confident in recommending you, then you will proceed onto the full fostering assessment.
5. Skills to foster training
You are then invited to attend the ‘Skills to foster’ training programme. This is a compulsory, three day course is run over two consecutive weekends. The programme will give you an understanding of fostering with the council and will take you through the core skills needed as a foster carer.
6. The assessment
On completion of the training, you will be allocated your own supervising social worker who will go through the whole assessment with you. This part of the process will take approximately five months, and is extremely thorough. From this, it is essential to fully understand your current situation, parenting experience and capacity, background and anyone else who is part of your household. We also need to ensure that all checks we applied for are clear. In addition, we must to be sure that we have done our job by preparing you for when your first foster child arrives. We will also ask for references from previous and current employers.
7. The fostering panel - approval
On completion of the assessment, a detailed report all about you and your family will be presented to the fostering panel for recommendation of approval. The fostering panel will decide whether to recommend people to become approved foster carers. The final decision rests with the Head of Service, Safeguarding and Family Support.
8. Being a foster carer
Once you have been approved as a foster carer, you will be matched with a child or young person. You will receive continued support from your supervising social worker who will visit you regularly at home.
Did you know!
You can withdraw your application at any point.