When you first get in touch with us, we will get some basic information from you and answer any immediate questions.
Complete an application form
You will get a link to an online application form to complete.
Once we have confirmed you are eligible to foster, one or two members of the team will arrange to visit you at home.
They will provide information and answer any questions you may have. They will also ask about you and your family and how you see fostering as part of your life.
You will then hear if you are able to proceed to the next stage.
Assessment and checks
The assessment to become a foster carer is a 2-stage process:
This stage will include:
- a Disclosure Barring Service check for anyone living in your household over the age of 16
- a local authority check
- contacting your references
You will be asked to have a medical examination with your GP (at no cost to you), to make sure there are no health reasons why you should not foster.
We will invite you to attend a preparation course called Skills to Foster, run by members of the fostering team. It is a chance for you to meet other people who are interested in fostering and to learn more about what’s involved.
A health and safety check on your home will also be completed.
Once all the checks and references are returned, we will determine whether we can take your application forward to stage 2.
A fostering social worker will do an assessment which will include information about:
- you and your family
- your support network
- your skills and abilities in looking after children
It will also include the type of placements you and the assessor think will be best for you. You will be very much involved in providing information and evidence for this.
The social worker will then write an assessment report which will make a recommendation about your suitability to foster. You will be asked to read and comment on this document.
If you are not approved at the end of stage 2, you can ask for your application to be reviewed.
The completed assessment is taken to a fostering panel for consideration.
The panel consists of a cross-section of people including professionals and those involved in fostering. They will read through your report and ask you and your fostering social worker some questions.
They will make a recommendation to our Agency Decision Maker about your suitability to foster who will make the final decision about your approval.
You will be informed of that decision about 2 weeks after the panel meeting.