Applying to foster – The Process
On average, it takes between 4 to 6 months to become approved to foster. At Family Care, we guide and support you throughout all stages, from your initial expression of interest right through to your approval.
The following 5 steps detail the main stages of the fostering process:
Step 1 - Initial Enquiry
You can informally express your interest in fostering with us by calling 0800 5 677 677 at any time or by completing our enquiry form. Once you’ve done this we make ourselves available to talk with you about fostering at a time that suits you. This stage of the process is very informal, there is no commitment or hard sell; you can simply use the chat as an opportunity to ask us any questions you may have.
Step 2 - Home Visit
We send an experienced member of our team to visit you at your home to provide you with more information about fostering with Family Care and this gives you a further opportunity to ask us any questions you like. The information pack we give to you will include an application form.
Step 3 - Assessment
Once you have applied to foster, we will contact you to start your fostering assessment (Family Care fund fostering assessments). A qualified social worker will be assigned to you and they will visit you frequently whilst compiling their assessment report and arranging for checks and references to be undertaken.
Step 4 - Training
You will also attend what we call ‘Skills to Foster’ training to give you the skills and understanding you will need in your role as a foster carer. The training is also a fantastic opportunity to meet fellow applicants, experienced foster carers and the Family Care team you will work with.
Step 5 - Panel
Once your assessment is complete we will present the report to our fostering Panel. Panel is a small group of people most of whom are independent of Family Care who have relevant experience of fostering. The Panel consider all the information presented and then make a recommendation to us as to your suitability to foster. Finally, the ‘decision maker’ for Family Care will make a decision based on the Panel’s recommendation.
After Panel the real work begins!
Once you are approved we begin the process of matching children and young people to you and what you can offer them. We make Local Authorities aware of your skills, your location and the types of foster placement you can offer.