FOSTER CARER SELECTION PROCESS
How to become a Foster Carer?
Applying to become a foster carer is a detailed and thorough process however, At Shining Stars we will support and guide you through each and every step.
A STEP BY STEP process is explained below to become a foster carer:
Complete an enquiry form with us. This can be completed online (via our website) or just simply by calling us over the phone. Our friendly team is happy to speak to you and answer any questions you may have regarding fostering. If the enquiry is positive a member of the staff from Shining Stars will contact you to book an appointment to come out and see you if you wish to proceed further with your enquiry.
Initial Home Visit
Shining Stars staff member will visit you to discuss your interest in fostering further with you, to gather some background information about you and your family and to check you have appropriate bedroom space in your home and discuss any other Health & Safety related issues. This will also be an opportunity for you to ask any further questions you may have regarding fostering. This is called an “Initial Home Visit”. If the visit is positive application form can be completed following the home visit or alternatively this can be completed later and send to us by post. We will also be verifying your ID’s and other documents during the visit. At this point you will be asked to provide photocopies of ID and some other documents and to sign a Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) check consent form.
Complete the Application Form
Once this is completed formal assessment will begin and stage 1 of the assessment will commence. As part of stage 1 process you will be required to:
- Provide references both personal and employment
- Undertake a medical check with your GP (paid for by us)
- Consent to other checks with Local Authorities, schools or other agencies
Full Fostering Assessment
The assessment process, sometimes called “Form F” assessment essentially involves a review of your suitability to provide foster care. This is a very detailed assessment and will be undertaken by a qualified social worker. This is called stage 2 of the assessment and your assessing social worker will carry out several home visits and support you with any home study you need to do.
Invitation to Preparation Training
You will receive specific training through a three day training course to prepare you to foster , this is called â€œSkills to Fosterâ€. Skills to Foster will also allow you to meet other carers, share experiences and learn more about foster care. For carers wishing to look after disabled or challenging children, parent and child placements additional training will be provided at this stage.
Following completion of your training and fostering assessment, your Form F assessment report will be submitted to an Independent Panel for approval recommendations to be made in terms of the numbers and ages of children that can be placed with you. The fostering panel is a group of professionals from different backgrounds including from children’s social care and include representatives from health, education, foster carer from a different IFA or LA and an ex foster child. You will be invited to attend the Panel with the social worker who completed your assessment. Your assessing Social Worker will present your foster carer assessment to the panel meeting, and respond to the panel’s questions in relation to the assessment. Your assessing social worker will be there with you to offer support and advice before, during and after panel. Panel will ask you questions about your application and you will also be given the opportunity to ask questions of panel.
The Agency decision maker (ADM) will have the final decision regarding your approval. Once approved you will then be a registered foster carer with Shining Stars Fostering Agency, and would be ready to take a placement of looked after children and young people into your home and care for them. You will be allocated a Supervising Social Worker to help and provide any ongoing support in your fostering journey.
At Shining Stars our aim is to complete the full assessment within a reasonable timescale and offer you a friendly, professional and prompt service throughout the process!
Call us to find out how to become a foster carer.