Fostering step-by-step guide
Stage one - initial preparation and training
- Application form – you will complete a detailed application form.
- “Skills to foster” training – you will be invited to attend the “Skills to foster” course where you will find out more about fostering. You will learn about the children who need foster carers and how you can prepare for becoming a foster carer.
- Checks - initial checks will be carried out to make sure there are no concerns about you caring for a child. These include Disclosure and Barring Service checks, medical checks and personal references.
Stage two - assessment
- Fostering assessment - you will be allocated a fostering supervising social worker who will work with you to complete your fostering assessment. They will visit you regularly to get to know you and assess your suitability to foster. They will spend time with your own children to ensure their views form part of the assessment too.
- Preparing the assessment - your social worker will write up all of the information from your assessment and share the report with you. You'll have a chance to make any comments.
- The fostering panel- once your assessment is complete, it will be presented to the fostering panel. This is a group of people who have knowledge of fostering, including a foster carer, representatives from Children's Services and independent members. The panel will make a recommendation on your suitability as a foster carer. Following this, the agency decision maker (a senior manager) will make the final decision to approve you as a foster carer.
What happens next?
Once you have been approved as a foster carer you'll be allocated a fostering supervising social worker who will help you to prepare for a child coming to stay with you. They will continue to support you throughout, making sure you get the help and support that you need and identify any types of training that you might need to help you. During your first year, you will complete an induction, and in subsequent years you will have a personal development plan which will identify your training and learning needs.