Six steps to fostering

Some people think that becoming a foster carer is a very complicated process. Here are our six steps to fostering:

1. Contact us on 01225 394949 or email
Making that first call may feel daunting but we will answer any questions you may have and then we will then send you an information pack.

2. Initial home visit
if you want to progress futher, one of our social workers will visit you at home to explain further what fostering is about and to find out more about you and your family.  This is also an opportunity to see your home and the space you have available.  We will discuss together and agree whether fostering is right for you and if so whether this is the right time to proceed.

3. Formal application, checks and references (known as Stage 1)
After you have filled in the formal application form we will take up a number of references and undertake several checks including employment references, DBS checks and medical reports.  These are legally required as part of the fostering assesment. Stage one usually takes 8 weeks. 

"When you become a Foster Carer, the road can be a ‘Bumpy’ one, but we have found if you persevere there can be a ‘rainbow’ at the end."

-B&NES foster carer

4. Assessment process (known as Stage 2)
We will invite you to attend the next available fostering preparation course.  Your social worker will also visit regularly over a period of three to four months.  You will be talking together about your life, early years, current family situation and experiences that would affect the way you would care for a child. During the assessment, your fostering social worker will discuss the age and type of fostering placements that you could offer. This will end up as a detailed report of your skills, strengths and abilities as well as areas you might need to work on. 
The report goes to the fostering panel and you have the opportunity to read it and make comments before that.

5. Approval and registration
The fostering panel is a group of people who have experience and knowledge about fostering. They will discuss your report and recommend to the agency whether or not you should be approved as a foster carer. You will be invited to attend the panel with your fostering social worker.

6. Starting to foster
Once you have been formally approved by the agency you will become one of the Council’s valued foster carers. You will receive plenty of support and training so that you will be equipped to provide a high level of care and gain the most enjoyment and reward possible from the role.

"This is hard work…but along with the hard work comes the reward, seeing that little step forward the foster child has made, seeing them smile, its all worth it”

-B&NES foster carer

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