What is the fostering process?
What is the fostering process?
Sometimes the process to foster can appear a little daunting – so what we have done is a short step by step guide to the process.
Step 1 – Expressing interest
If you have filled in any online application or called into our information line, our team will send you our information pack. This consists of a brochure which explains more about fostering and the different types of fostering.
Once you have received the brochure, you will be called by one of our team to complete a questionnaire over the phone. At this stage you will be asked further questions about the type of fostering you are interested in, your family, skills and experiences. At the end of that telephone call, you will be invited to one of our information sessions or, alternatively, you can opt straight for a home visit.
Our information sessions are held monthly in Shrewsbury. Following our sessions, we call our applicants within 2 days to discuss with them whether they then wish to proceed. If we both decide to proceed you will be offered a home visit within 10 days.
Step 2 – Home visit
At this stage a social worker will come and see you at your home. The purpose of this visit is to have a look around your home with you and see if your home meets the criteria for fostering. You will be able to ask questions about your individual circumstances, and the social worker will be able to identify any issues or concerns that may need further clarification before you proceed further.
Step 3 – Assessment
During this stage you will be asked to fill in a fostering application form; a form giving us consent for checks for police and medical etc; a health and safety assessment, and a family tree and chronology. We will also liaise with you to book a DBS (formerly CRB) appointment which you will need to attend.
Following the initial visit you will be allocated a social worker. Their role is to get to know you and your family so that together you can explore the type of fostering you would like to be considered for. All members of your household will be involved in the assessment process. The assessment will include various interviews and references from family, friends and employers.
The assessment consists of a minimum of 7 further visits after which time the the social worker will then produce a report which will be presented to the fostering panel.
Step 4 – Attend ‘skills to foster’ training
In tandem with the assessment, you will also be asked to attend our ‘skills to foster’ training. These are run by social workers and foster carers and follow the ‘skills to foster’ course, produced by the Fostering Network. The total training consists of four training sessions, 2 on Saturdays and 2 in the evenings. Saturday training takes place between 9.30 and 3.30 pm, whilst evening training takes place between 6.30 and 9.30 pm. Training is delivered in Shrewsbury.
During the training we will be asking you to think to about what fostering means to you and what you are able to offer as individuals and families. You will also be given information on how this will affect both you and your family.
Step 5 – Fostering Panel
The panel will consider your application and make a recommendation on your suitability to become a foster carer. The panel is made up of a councillor, social workers and independent members. You will be informed of the fostering panel’s decision on the day the panel meets. This recommendation will go to the decision maker and they will decide whether you will be approved.
How long does the process take?
It will take approximately four to five months for you to become an approved foster carer.
After you are approved
Once you are approved you will be available to foster children. How quickly you have a placement will depend on the category of children you are approved to care for. Before a child or young person is placed with you, we will check that you have all the necessary equipment.