Steps to becoming approved as a foster carer

If you feel that you can bring what is required to support a child then we will be delighted to talk you through the process

Using the Contact form we can arrange to have an informal chat where you can ask any questions and find out more about fostering in general. We will sign post you to information that will help you and we will leave it for you to decide if you want to take your enquiry further.

We will share with you the steps you will take to become an approved foster carer. To give you a flavour:

Initial assessment

A visit to your home by a member of our team. This forms part of the formal assessment stage. You will be asked to show us around your home, and talk to us about your motivation for fostering. This is to ensure your home meets the standards for fostering, for example has sufficient space for another person to live with you, and that you have the qualities required to be a successful foster carer. You will have lots of opportunity once again to ask lots of questions. We will provide you with lots of information and leave you to think about your next steps. There is no obligation on your part. We want you to make the right choice for you and your family.

Formal Application

If after the initial assessment you wish to formally apply to be a foster carer with To the Moon and Back, you will be asked to complete an application form and submit it formally to us. Only once your application form is received can the application process be initiated.

We will start to make some regulatory checks on you including DBS and local authority checks. References may also be sought at this point and personal information verified so that we are happy that you are who you say you are. Once we are satisfied that you meet the requirements of becoming a foster care, we will allocate a social worker to undertake an assessment of you.

Formal Assessment

The Social Worker will introduce themselves to you and your family and outline the way the assessment is undertaken. It will be done approximately over a 8 week period and will cover areas of your life and that of significant others in your family and friends network. We do this to understand more about you and support you as part of the process to understand how you might feel in certain situations when fostering a child.

Training

During this 8 week period, you will be invited to undertake mandatory training called “skills to Foster”. This generally runs for 3 days over a weekend and you along with other applicants come together to learn more about fostering. Our friendly team, will enable you to reflect on the challenges of fostering and ask any burning questions. This is a stimulating course that covers difficult subjects in a sensitive and engaging manner. The sessions are very informative and will give you lots of insight in to fostering a child.

There are other training courses that you are required to undertake. These are relatively much shorter but require equal commitment. They are related to protecting children in your care and include, First Aid, Safeguarding and learning about theories related to child development.

Panel

Once your assessment is complete and you have undertaken the required training, your allocated social worker will pull together all the information that you have shared over your time together in to a report. This will provide all the evidence of your skills and life experiences that show why you should be a foster carer. They are likely to also advise what support, training and resources you are likely to need to be successful in your fostering of a child. This will be presented by the social worker to the fostering panel. The report will be shared with you so that you know what it contains.

The Independent panel consisting of 5 people. These people as part of the Panel process will read and digest the report submitted about you and your family. They will have the opportunity to discuss the report with the Social Worker who undertook your assessment. Then you will be invited to meet with the Panel where they may ask you some questions and seek clarity about your understanding. If the Panel are happy then they will recommend your approval to be a foster carer. The panel role is to advise the agency about the type of fostering, age and number of children that could be placed with you. Their recommendation will include the ages and number of foster children you can be approved to have living with you.

Formal Approval Process

The approval process requires the authorisation of the Panel recommendations by a senior member of our team. This normally takes a few days following your meeting with Panel to process. You will receive a telephone call followed by a letter informing you of the number and ages of the children you are approved to foster whilst working for our foster agency.

Post Approval

This is a time for celebration. You will be formally welcomed to our team and allocated a Supervising Social Worker who will arrange to meet with you and support you through the induction process which formally covers the preparation of you and your family for the process of welcoming children placed with you and your family. We will introduce you to other foster carers and members of our team that you may not have yet met.

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