If you’re ready to take the first step, complete the online enquiry form and a member of our fostering team will get in touch. We’ll invite you to attend an information meeting , where you can meet other people who are interested in fostering, speak to existing foster carers and learn more about fostering.
A social worker will visit you at your home to tell you more about training, the assessment process and find out whether fostering is right for you. The social worker will decide whether you can progress to the first stage of the assessment process – this may be during the visit or after they have spoken to the fostering team manager.
You will be asked to complete an application form and give your consent for references and checks to begin. We are required under the fostering regulations 2011 to carry out police, health, medical and education checks and we will visit two personal references. We will write to you within 10 working days of the last check being returned to the department and receiving your references to tell you whether or not you can progress to stage two of the assessment process. If you disagree with the decision you can get in touch with us to discuss.
You will receive preparation training and begin a home assessment study so that we can find out more about you and your family and the qualities and experiences you have which may help you to become foster carer.
Your social worker will complete the assessment report with you, looking at the age, gender, and number of children you would like to foster and we’ll ask you to confirm it’s accurate before it goes to the fostering panel for consideration. The panel includes people who have a personal and professional connection with fostering, such as foster carers, education and social workers. You will be informed at the panel session if you have been approved and the Council will make the final decision. You will then receive written confirmation of your approval.
There may be times when the social worker is unable to resolve issues identified during the assessment and at this point the fostering panel may decide not to continue with the process. The Council will make the final decision based on all the available information. If you do not agree with the outcome you can appeal through the Independent Review Mechanism (IRM).
Your status as an approved foster carer is reviewed every year and agreed by either the fostering or review panel.