The Roadmap to Fostering: Explained
We have put together this handy roadmap to fostering to help you get a better understanding about the process of becoming a Foster Carer.
Step 1: Making an Enquiry
Once you have done your research and you feel ready to make that first step; there are various ways you can get in touch with us here at Lorimer. You can click this link to make an online enquiry or call our friendly fostering team on 07938 575 738. We will talk to you about the fostering journey and answer any questions you might have.
Step 2: The Home Visit
If, once we have had a chat, you are happy that fostering is right for you; we will arrange to come out and see you in the comfort of your own home. Whilst there, we will discuss any more questions that you may have thought about since our chat and we will discuss what happens next in the process. We will also take this opportunity to gather some basic information about you and your family; such as where you have lived and a brief summary of your life experiences. The main aim is for us to get a good feel for you and your home environment; and also to give you an idea of life as a Foster Carer and what you can expect.
Step 3: Your Application
If everything went well with your home visit and both parties are happy to proceed then you will be allocated a Social Worker; who will start and complete your assessment to become a Foster Carer. They will visit your home as many times as is needed (usually this is around 8 to 10 times over a 3-4 month period) to gather as much information as you can remember about you and your family.
Step 4: Skills to Foster Course
Before you can be approved as a Foster Carer and as part of your assessment; you will need to attend what is known as a Skills to Foster course. This is a 3 ½ day training course (usually spread out over a couple of weeks) aimed to give you as much information about fostering as possible; what you can expect, what is expected of you, about our agency and the types of children/young people you will look after. more of a preparation to fostering. You will do this course alongside other people going through the same process, so it gives you a chance to find out how others are getting on. It is designed to be very relaxed, informal and fun!
Step 5: The Fostering Assessment
There are two stages to this process; the first being about gathering references, medical checks, police checks and general safety checks. The second stage involves more in-depth checks and discussions about your family history.
At Lorimer we run both of these stages together so we do not delay the process for you. All of this information is put together, with the information you gave at the initial home visit, and it forms what is known as a Form F Report. This report is to give people an insight to you and your family; there is no right or wrong way and no-one is here to judge as everyone has had different life experiences and that is what makes people great Foster Carers.
This is your time to ask lots of questions, the more the better!
Step 6: Panel
Once the Form F Report has been completed and you and your Social Worker are both happy with it; you will be invited along to attend the next panel meeting. At this meeting the panel members will first discuss your Form F document with your Social Worker. You will then be invited in to answer some simple questions from panel members about your Form F; and a decision will be made as to whether or not you become a Foster Carer. Although it might seem scary; we promise that it isn’t! We are there to support you along every step of the way, and we will always try to put you at ease. Your Social Worker will be there with you to give you any extra support you may need.
Step 7: Approval!
The panel members will make a recommendation about your approval to the Agency Decision Maker; and it is then their job to make the final decision! Then, if you are approved, you will be ready to take your first fostering placement. How exciting!
GET IN TOUCH
If you would like to learn more about becoming a Foster Carer then please get in touch for a chat. You can call or WhatsApp Rachael on 07938 575 738, or submit your details using the form below and we will call you back. We recruit Foster Carers from all across the North West, and we would love to hear from you!