The 6 stages of becoming a foster carer

By choosing a small fostering agency, you will feel part of ‘the family’ from very early on in the fostering process. Similarly, choosing a foster agency that aligns with your hopes and aspirations, as a foster carer, will help you undertake your role successfully.

At Active Care Solutions, we are large enough to offer a framework of support, yet small enough to offer a highly personalised service. Furthermore, we focus on bespoke cultural and faith-based foster placements, believing it is essential to place children within their culture and faith of origin, wherever possible.

The fostering process needn’t be daunting. We follow a six step fostering process so that you can clearly progress through it on your journey to become a foster carer with Active Care Solutions.

Typically it will take around five months to go through our fostering process from start to finish. This process is designed to be a two-way ‘getting to know’ each other process. We want to ensure that you have all of the information, knowledge and skills to be a foster carer, whilst also feeling cared for and supported by us.

Let’s walk through the 6 stages of the fostering process:

  1. Make an enquiry

The first stage really is as simple as that. If you’re interested in fostering, pick up the phone and call us on 0800 917 7937 or fill in our online enquiry form. This doesn’t commit you to anything, it’s simply a chance to register interest and begin the ball rolling, if you wish.

If you have any questions at this early stage, one of our advisors will be happy to help. We have probably heard the questions before, and if we haven’t, we’ll endeavour to find the answer for you quickly.

  1. Home visit and application form

If, following your enquiry, you would like to proceed, the next stage is an informal home visit. One of our experienced advisors will visit you at home. This is a two-way process – we aren’t formally inspecting your home! However, this is an opportunity for you to feel comfortable asking any questions you may have. It’s also a chance for us to share with you the unique nature of our agency. This is a relaxed discussion. Following this visit, you’ll receive a formal application form to complete.

  1. Join in a preparation course

For all potential foster carers, we run a comprehensive 4-day fostering preparation course. This is an invaluable part of the fostering process. It looks at the common misconceptions about fostering but also prepares for the realities of being a foster carer. We’ll look at common situations you may encounter and best practice for foster care. This course also serves another valuable purpose: it enables you to meet other individuals at the same stage of the fostering journey as you. These individuals will ultimately form part of your support network for the future.

  1. Fostering assessment process

Once your application form is complete, and you have attended a preparation course, we will arrange for the formal assessment process to begin. You will be visited, at home, by a social worker. Over the course of around 8-10 such visits, the social worker is looking to find out more about you, your household and your family. They are interested in your relevant experience, skills and childcare knowledge. This information is collated in to a report.

  1. Decision at panel

Your application form, references, police checks and the report from the assessment process are now forwarded to the fostering panel. The panel is made up of experienced fostering experts. They decide whether or not to recommend you for foster care. The ultimate decision is made by the manager of our agency. They will decide whether to approve your application, or not.

  1. It’s time to foster!

Once you have been approved, you are now ready to start fostering through Active Care Solutions. We will endeavour to match you with a suitable child as well as providing ongoing support and training in your foster care career.

 

To find out more about our 6 stage fostering process and to make an enquiry, see here.

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