Applying to become a foster carer is a detailed and thorough process however, at Family Works Fostering, we will support and guide you through each and every step. A step by step process to become a foster carer is explained below:
Complete an enquiry form with us. This can be completed online (via our website) or just simply by calling us over the phone. Our friendly team is happy to speak to you and answer any questions you may have regarding fostering. If the enquiry is positive a member of the staff from Family Works will contact you to book an appointment to come out and see you if you wish to proceed further with your enquiry.
If the visit is positive an application form can be completed following the home visit. At this point you will be asked to provide photocopies of your ID and some other documents and to sign a Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) check consent form. On receipt of your application form we will begin the process of background checks on you and any other adult members of your household and these can also include Local Authority databases and professional and personal references.
The formal assessment (known as the Form F Assessment) is the longest part of the process and will require a series of interviews and conversations with an assessing social worker in your home (this will include meeting with any other people who live in the house). The social worker will use the information you provide during the visits to write a report which you will see and will be asked to comment on. Whilst the process may appear daunting at first sight, be assuredthat we support you throughout.
You will receive specific training through a three-day training course to prepare you to foster called the Skills to Foster training. This training allows allow you to meet other carers, share experiences and learn more about foster care. This course will also help you finalise your thoughts about becoming a foster carer and give you the opportunity to discuss your thoughts and ideas with other applicants. The course is always very popular and essential to helping you decide whether fostering is for you and your family.
When the formal assessment is complete and the report has been written, you will be invited to attend our Fostering Panel. This panel is made up of members who are independent of our agency and from a diverse range of backgrounds relevant to children and young people in care. The fostering panel will review your application and discuss it with you and your assessing social worker. At the end of your meeting the panel will make a recommendation to either approve or not approve you as a Foster Carer with Family Works Fostering.
Following the panel meeting; the recommendation to approve you or not will be sent to a senior professional working for the agency known as the ‘Agency Decision Maker”. This individual will review your application and the panel’s recommendation and then make a final decision. Once approved you will then be a registered foster carer with Family Works Fostering, and would be ready to take a placement of looked after children and young people into your home and care for them. You will be allocated a Supervising Social Worker who will complete your induction with you and help you and provide any ongoing support with regards to fostering.