If you contact the fostering team to express an interest in becoming a foster carer we will send you an information pack.

Following this initial enquiry, the process involved in becoming a foster carer can generally be summarised into four stages as follows: –

Stage 1

Within five days a social worker from the fostering team will give you a ring, this will give you some time to read through the information pack. However if when reading the information you would like to call before this to discuss anything, please do so. If you have any questions at all about the information you receive, please feel free to ask the social worker who calls you. If you are happy to proceed, the social worker will make an appointment to come and visit you in your own home to discuss fostering with you further. We have to prioritise these visits, and priority will be given to those applicants who are able to look after children over ten years of age.

Stage 2

You will be invited to attend a preparation course called ‘Skills to Foster’. This course is run over four sessions on two consecutive Saturday and Tuesday evenings. This course provides you with a lot more information about fostering. Foster carers and some children who have been fostered also attend, and you will have the opportunity to speak with them and ask them questions. This is the first step of what is known as the ‘assessment process’.

Stage 3

You will be allocated your own assessor who will continue the assessment process with you. This whole process takes on average 4-6 months to complete. You may think that this is a long time, but it is very important that you are able to make sure that fostering is definitely for you and your family. And we need to be certain that we have prepared you for when your first foster child arrives at your door. The assessment will cover things such as what the council will expect from you as a foster carer, what skills you already have to enable you to be a foster carer, a bit about your family make-up, and what training you may need to help you.

Stage 4

The assessor will then put all the information they have obtained into a report. You will be able to see this report, and have the opportunity to add any comments if you’d like to. This will then be presented to the Foster Panel – you will be invited to attend as well.