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How Does Fostering Work
A Simple Guide to Becoming a Foster Parent
- You can transform a child’s life by becoming a Therapeutic Foster Parent & it could change your life, too
- How does fostering work? See our simple step-by-stepguide to becoming a foster parent
- What are the requirements for fostering, & what checks need to be carried out?
You can transform a child’s life by becoming a Therapeutic Foster Parent. It could change your life, too.
To complete all the checks and initial training, it will take around 6 months. If you are already an approved foster parent, it will be quicker.
During the whole recruitment process, we’ll get to know you and your family, considering how fostering will fit into your life. Foster parents come from different cultural and social backgrounds, religions, and ethnicities and are of various sexual orientations, physical abilities, ages and genders. You can find clear information on who can foster at our agency here.
Step 1: Enquire
Enquiring simply means getting in touch with us about your interest in fostering. There are lots of ways you can get in touch with us. From our contact page, Facebook message or ringing 01429 363127. After we’ve heard from you our Registered Manager will get back to you as soon as possible.
When we speak to you, we’ll answer all the questions you may have and also find out a little bit about your situation and your reasons for wanting to foster. We’ll explain a lot more about what becoming a therapeutic foster parent involves, the types of fostering and the next steps. You can see Sarah talking about what happens when you enquire here. At this point there is no obligation for you or our agency to take your enquiry further, it’s all about just investing some time to see whether fostering can fit into your life and also if the agency is right for you.
Step 2: Home Visit
The next step is for our team to visit you in your home. At this visit you’ll be given more information; we’ll explain how our agency works and differs from others. You’ll found out a this point a lot more detailed information on the support we will give you and we’ll have a look at your home.
After this visit and if our agency fits in with your fostering goals then we will invite you to apply. This simply means completing an application form and giving consent to the statutory checks we have to complete in the next part of the process.
Step 3: Fostering Assessment
This is all about focusing on collecting information about you, like your skills, experience, and your family. The form is called a Form F. Your assessing social worker will do this process over the course of a few months. We will talk to you about things such as your childhood, work history, personal interests, and past relationships. We will collect all this information through home and digital visits. There are also some vital checks and references we will collect that all fostering agencies are required to acquire.
This will be done for every individual who is over 18 living in the household. We sometimes need to complete a DBS check for other adults outside your household if they maybe in regular contact with the child in your care.
We will make enquiries to the local authority and their child protection records.
A report will be completed by your GP. All this report is highlighting is if there are any health conditions that may affect your ability to care for children.
Our team will carry out a safety check of your home, this is to ensure that the environment is a safe and ready for fostering a child.
A pet questionnaire to determine whether your pet is safe to be around foster children.
You may be required to provide the appropriate evidence.
Step 4: Changing Futures Through Fostering Training
Whilst the application process is being undertaken you will be invited to join our therapeutic fostering preparation training, Changing Futures through Fostering. We have developed a training programme that meets the needs of foster parents so that they can meet the needs of children. Supported by therapeutic parenting techniques, together we dig deep and look at our own skills and how to transfer them to fostering. We look at how we react to situations and how we can do things differently. This programme lasts for 10 sessions. This training programme is the start of your learning journey with us, throughout your time fostering with us we will continually offer ongoing training opportunities.
Step 5: Fostering Panel
Once both your assessment and training are completed, we will present your Form F to our fostering panel. There are usually around 5-6 panel members and support staff at each meeting, together they discuss what type of fostering placement might be the right fit for you. The role of the panel is to make a recommendation to Agency Decision Maker, who makes the final decision about whether or not you can be an approved foster parent.
Most importantly during the panel and the whole process you will be fully supported by your assessing social worker. Once you are approved that means you are legally allowed to foster a child or young person.
Step 6: Being an Approved Foster Parent
By this point we’ll have built up quite a relationship! You’ll know our team and we’ll know what child or young person that will be the best beneficiary of your care. You won’t have to wait long to finally start providing that safe, therapeutic, and nurturing care. It’s the start of you Changing Futures.
It’s never to late to start changing the lives of local children. Foster parents come from a diverse range of backgrounds. To speak to our team just get in touch following the button below. We’ll get back to you as soon as possible.