We encourage anyone interested in fostering with us to get in touch. Our friendly team will answer any questions you have and send you an information pack.
We hold regular open events where you can meet staff members and other local foster carers who'll share their real life experiences. We'll guide you every step of the way to ensure you make the right decision about fostering for you and your family.
A member of our recruitment team will arrange to come and visit you at home so that you can find out more about the process in an informal way. We'll find out more about you and your circumstances, such as who lives in your household and your support network.
Children in care are vulnerable and it is essential we carry out checks to make sure they are placed in homes where they will be safe and protected. These checks include Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) and Local Authority checks, as well as medical, personal and employment references.
You'll need to demonstrate that you are in good physical health and emotionally strong and able to cope with the demanding, yet rewarding role of caring for children.
Skills to Foster training
After your visit, if everyone is in agreement to proceed, we'll ask you to complete a registration of interest form. You'll then be invited to a Skills to Foster training course which is usually run by social workers and local foster carers. You'll learn more about fostering and the support and benefits we offer. You'll also have the opportunity to hear from a care leaver about their experience of fostering and the difference it made to their life.
Fast Track Assessments
If you have suitable experience and skills already this could mean that you begin your fostering assessment earlier whilst you are completing necessary training along side the assessment. Please speak to us about this and we will ensure this is highlighted in your initial visit for a management decision.
You'll be allocated a social worker who will meet with you regularly to help complete your assessment. They'll explore and evidence your ability to provide a stable home for children in care and identify what other support and training you might need. After this you'll receive a copy of a report, which is presented to the fostering panel.
The fostering panel is made up of professionals working with children, foster carers and county councillors. With the support of your social worker, the panel will ask you questions and consider your suitability to foster. They'll then make a recommendation about your approval to the fostering service.
The journey from your initial enquiry to approval can take between 4 - 8 months, depending on your individual circumstances.
As a new foster carer, you'll receive excellent training and ongoing support including:
- a buddy - an experienced foster carer to support you during the initial months
- core training to help you develop the skills and understanding you need to foster
- monthly visits from your supervising social worker
- local events and support groups to help you meet other foster carers
- a fostering duty system available to help with any queries - 5 days a week
- out of hours support - 7 days a week.
If you'd like to ask us a question or find out more, please get in touch with our fostering recruitment team on:
0800 917 0925