Providing foster care for a child, or children, can be both challenging and rewarding. Deciding if it’s the right thing to do takes a lot of practical and emotional consideration, which is why we want to make sure those interested in fostering can easily find relevant and useful information about the process.
Below, we simplify some of the key steps and provide answers to the most frequently asked questions
Is fostering right for me?
From a practical consideration, there are basic requirements to becoming a foster carer which can be found here. Overall, we ask that our foster carers are people who genuinely want to help children, enjoy spending time with them and are open to new learning.
To help with the decision, we provide support and guidance to those interested every step of the way. As part of the process, you’ll receive a home visit from one of our foster carers or social workers, so you can hear directly about what being a foster carer is actually like.
Making the decision to foster can take time so we don’t put you under pressure to commit to anything you aren’t ready for. If, after a home visit, you still have questions, you can arrange to meet with a Family Placement social worker or recruitment adviser for further information and guidance.
What information will I need to provide?
Once you’ve submitted a completed application form, you will be contacted to set up completing the statutory checks required to be a foster carer. These include taking references, arranging a GP medical for each applicant and completing criminal record checks on each applicant and other adult members of the household.
Once these checks are completed, a social worker will compile a home study report for presentation to a fostering panel. A Family Placement social worker will meet with you several times in order to draft this report, which will include your individual backgrounds, personal and household circumstances, the reasons why you wish to foster a child, previous child care experience and recommendations about your approval as foster carers. Once completed, this report will be presented to a fostering panel for consideration and you’ll be invited to attend this meeting.
How long does it take to become an approved foster carer?
The approval process (from submitting your application) usually takes around 4-6 months depending on the availability of yourself, your referees and how long statuary checks take.
How long will I have to wait for a child to be placed?
As a Tier 1, preferred provider of foster placements for all of the local authorities in our wide catchment area, we receive a high number of requests for placements. We will always try to find a good match between the child’s needs and the carer’s skill and qualities.
How long will a foster child stay with me?
You can be approved to foster children for any period of time, or on a short- or long-term basis. Short-term foster care is for a temporary period and can be anything from a few weeks to a number of months, or even up to 2 years.
As a long-term foster carer, children will stay with you until the young person is an adult at age 18.
For more information about becoming a foster carer or to team up with Family Placement, contact us or give us a call on 01993 706925.