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Carers will often say that they had thought about fostering for many years before they finally took the first step to apply.
Not knowing what to expect of the process can feel daunting for some people and we are available every step of the way to answer your questions and offer support. We estimate that the process usually takes around 6 – 8 months to complete.
At this stage you are not making any commitment but instead this is an opportunity for you to find out a bit more about fostering and our application process. You might already have lots of questions and we would use this opportunity to hear a bit more about you and your motivation to become a foster carer for teenagers.
One of our supervising social workers will visit you at home to have a more detailed discussion about your application. If you are married or live with a partner they are equally important and should also be present at the home visit.
The visit will allow us the time to hear more about your circumstances, your family, and any experience that is relevant to fostering teenagers.
The Skills to Foster course is delivered to all prospective carers prior to assessment. It will give you more information about your role as a foster carer, the expectations of you and your family and some insight into working with teenagers. The course is stimulating and informative and will help you to decide if fostering is for you.
You will now be allocated a Supervising Social Worker who will work with you to complete a detailed assessment, called a Form F assessment. You will have regular meetings with your social worker and lots of discussion on a range of subjects relative to fostering. The assessment involves a number of checks including police, medical and financial. We will also ask for references and undertake checks on other adult members of your household. There are likely to be some short mandatory training courses to attend during this phase.
This is the final stage of your assessment. All of the information gathered during the assessment will be brought together and presented to our fostering panel.
Our fostering panel is a group of experienced professionals who together will review the assessment and make a recommendation to us about your suitability to foster.
Coming to panel can feel daunting and some carers say they do get anxious. However, you will already have met with your social worker regularly during the assessment and they will attend the panel with you.
Your fostering journey doesn’t end with approval – it is just the beginning! Once you are approved we will carefully match you with your first placement and you will continue to be provided with guidance, training and support every step of the way.