The Application Process
Are you interested in becoming a foster parent but feeling overwhelmed by the application process? Don’t worry, we’re here to guide you every step of the way. Continue to find out how easy it really is.
Our assessment process typically takes 4-6 months, but we promise it’s worth it.
Every family is unique, so each assessment is tailored to your specific needs. We’ll make sure to break it down for you in simple steps during your initial conversations with our fostering team.
We believe that every child deserves a safe and loving home, and you could be the one to make a difference in their lives.
How The Fostering Application Process Works
It all starts with an initial enquiry – either via our website or a friendly chat on the phone.
We want to get to know you, understand your reasons for fostering and make sure we’re the right fit for each other.
During the telephone questionnaire, we’ll provide all the info you need about support, allowances and training that come with fostering so you can feel confident in your choice.
When everything looks good, we’ll arrange the home visit.
One of our friendly, supervising social workers will assess your ability and readiness through a home visit.
Expectations on foster carers, including recordings and transportation, as well as support, allowances, and training that we can provide will be discussed.
It’s important to be open and honest during this visit, critical details shared at this stage can avoid complications and delays in the future.
At the end of the visit, you’ll know if fostering is the right choice for you. If it is, we’ll send you an application form. Once completed and sent back to us, your formal fostering assessment begins!
This is the longest part of the process. We’ll assign you an independent assessor for your fostering assessment, involving 6-12 visits for your capacity to foster.
We’ve got it all sorted - from organising checks and enrolling you for pre-approval training. Plus, Family Care will cover the costs for Local Authority and DBS checks, as well as the medical check by your doctor.
You will also need to submit personal and employment references too.
The pre-approval training is tailored to equip you with the day-to-day skills needed for your fostering success. It’s delivered virtually with reflective sessions during your assessment.
Once completed, you’ll feel like an expert in foster care - just waiting for the panel’s recommendation after presenting your assessment report.
An independent panel of five professionals from education, health, social care and care experience will review your assessor’s report.
The recommendation will be passed to our agency decision maker - completely independent of Family Care - to make the final call on your approval.
If everything is positive, you can begin the exciting journey of fostering!
Once you are approved, you are registered with an approval notice detailing the types of fostering you have been approved for.
Your approval notice outlines the types of fostering you are eligible for, such as fostering children of any gender and ages 0-18, short term, long term, emergency or respite care.
At this stage, you’ll also be allocated your own supervising social worker - they’ll be your primary source of support throughout your fostering career.
Congratulations - you’re now approved to foster!
We’ll make sure that local authorities are aware of your availability and start looking for suitable matches.
How quickly that happens depends on a number of factors, such as the referrals we receive for your area, as well as your skills, experience, and flexibility.
It’s uncommon for our newly approved foster families to wait more than two months before being matched with their first placement - so get ready to make a real difference in a child’s life!