Becoming a Foster Carer

How do I become a foster carer?

There is no greater reward than providing a home for a child who needs it. While we encourage anyone to apply, we have a thorough assessment process to make sure every carer is able to provide a stable home. Don’t worry, we’ll make it as easy as possible by being on hand to support you every step of the way.

It is a great responsibility and privilege becoming a foster carer and we encourage anyone who wants to apply. However, we do have a thorough assessment process to make sure every carer is capable of providing a child with a stable home. Don’t worry, we aim to make the process as easy as possible so you don’t need to fret about any added stress.

The assessment process usually involved the following steps:

Navigate in this guide

Step 1: Contact our advice team

Before you make your decision it is important to talk it through with as many people as you feel comfortable. Feel free to give us a call at any time and someone from the team will be happy to talk things through with you. This way you will be able to make an informed decision that best suits your future.

Contact our advice team

Step 2: The home visit

At Heath Farm we like to visit our potential foster carers at home so we can learn and understand more about one another. So, after deciding you would like to become a foster carer one of our team members will visit you allowing you to talk through any more questions you may have before the application begins.

The home visit

Step 3: Skills to Foster

Provided your home visit goes well we will invite you and your family (if applicable) to our Skills to Foster course. This will mean you learn as much as you can so you are ready for anything when you become a foster carer.

Skills to Foster

Step 4: The application form

Now it’s time to start filling out some forms! To get started we’ll ask you to complete a foster carer application form which will assign you a social worker. Your social worker will be your companion guiding you through the application process and will visit your home many times along the way to get to know you and your family and put together a document called a Form F. This document will form the basis of your application and will contain all the information necessary to becoming a foster carer. It is important to remember your social worker is there to help you so feel free to ask anything, they won’t judge!

The application form

Step 5: Assessment

This can often be the stressful part so we try as best we can to make it run as smoothly as possible. It can last anywhere between four to six months so we split it into smaller more manageable stages. Initially we will gather personal details such as medical records and financial checks then we look at whether you are suited to some of the more complex forms of foster care such as caring for children with challenging behaviour. When this is done we set your panel date where the decision will be made if you are ready to become a foster carer. This can seem daunting but your social worker and our support team are always available to coach you through each stage.

Assessment

Step 6: Panel meeting

After the assessment, your Form F and background checks are presented to the panel, which is made up of a variety of different professionals from a fostering, educational and care background. This meeting is designed in a manner that will put you at ease. It will take place in your local fostering offices and you will have your social worker by your side who will have prepared you for anything that may arise. Following this meeting, the panel will then consider your assessment and hopefully approve you to be a foster carer.

Panel meeting

Step 7: Approval granted and first placement

Nearly there! The application process is now over and you are nearly ready to begin life as a foster carer. Our team will now work hard to match you with the right placement and start to create a happy home for your child. Our team of experts remain on hand so don’t hesitate to ask us if you need any help or advice.

Approval granted and first placement

Want to know more about fostering?

Request our fostering guide

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01227 931 778

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