How to become a foster carer?
- Becoming a carer is a huge decision, but it is one that can change your life for the better!
- Family Fostering Partners are here to support you throughout the entire application.
- Anyone can foster, you just need to fit a few criteria and be happy and willing to commit to the role!
Becoming a carer is not as daunting as it may first appear.
Choosing to foster is a huge step in your life, and one not to be taken lightly. That being said, do not let fear about the process of becoming a foster carer stop you from beginning a rewarding and life-changing career!
To become an approved foster parent, you and your family will need to be assessed by Family Fostering Partners to confirm your suitability, and this usually takes between three to four months.
The assessment process involves lots of discussions and a detailed look at your life, background, social circumstance, personality and skills. It is really important to us that all of our carers are suited to the job and that we feel confident in their ability to look after children in need. Oftentimes, children who come into care have had troubling experiences, a foster home may be the first time they feel safe, secure and happy. That’s why we want to make sure each of our carers are a good fit for the role at hand. Do not let this worry you, a Family Fostering Partners link worker will be there to support you throughout the entire application process, from initial enquiry through to your first placement and beyond.
When you apply to become a foster parent, we will need to carry out a few background checks:
- After getting your consent, we will undertake checks on you and your family with the Disclosure and Barring Service, with Local Authorities and with other agencies
- We will pay for you to have a full medical check-up with your GP
- We will take up references from other non-family members who can tell us about your suitability to become a foster carer
During the assessment process, you will be asked to attend our three-day ‘Skills to Foster’ training course, which will be provided at a venue near to your home. For many people, returning to learning can feel very strange and a little frightening, but we make it welcoming and fun and most people find that they enjoy it far more than they ever expected! This short training course will allow you to get a feel for what fostering will be like, help you to develop some core skills and allow you time to ask any questions you may have been wondering about.
Throughout the process, your link worker from Family Fostering Partners will visit you and your family regularly to collect information for an assessment report, which when completed, will be presented to our Fostering Panel. The assessment covers your suitability to foster as well as home checks. When this is complete, you will be invited to attend the Fostering Panel.
The panel is the final stage of your journey to becoming a foster carer. All information is presented to the panel and members of the panel will take this opportunity to ask you a few questions about yourself and application.
We appreciate that this process may sound nerve-wracking, but we promise you that it won’t be as scary as it first appears. Who knows, you may even enjoy the assessment!
Once you’ve completed the assessment and have been approved as a foster parent for Family Fostering Partners, we will work with you to match your skills and placement preference to a child’s needs.