How To Become A Foster Carer
The process to become a foster carer comprises principally of an in-depth assessment by a qualified social worker and the completion of checks and references. It is specifically designed to protect children from unsuitable applicants and is therefore a comprehensive and thorough process, this usually takes between 4 and 6 months to complete.
The key steps to becoming a foster carer include:
Initial Enquiry and Home Visit - When you contact us one of our Recruitment Team will have a chat with you and ask some key questions about your living arrangements, this will help us to decide if fostering is the right career for you. If we feel you would benefit from a home visit, we will first send out some more information in the post for you to read and follow this up with a phone call. This allows you to ask any questions the information may have raised for you, if you are happy with the information provided then we will go ahead and arrange a home visit. 2 key members of staff will come out and visit you in the home allowing you to ask further questions and for us to discuss fostering for Xcel. If following the visit we both feel that fostering is right for you and your family we will invite you to complete an application form. The application form is sent to you via an online link to be completed. Upon receipt of the application form you will be contacted by a member of the team that will explain the next stage.
Assessment and Checks - An Assessing Social Worker will be allocated to you and is required to write an in-depth report called a Form F, this will be presented to Xcel 2000’s fostering panel. The report will contain details of your experience if any and an assessment of whether you are able to meet the competencies required for fostering. To gather the information required for the report, the social worker will need to make several visits to your home. They will also need to speak to other people living in your home, including any children you have. During the assessment you will be required to have a medical examination by your GP and attend Skills to Foster Training. Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks will also be carried out, as well as other checks and references.
Included in the completed report will be a recommendation of the age, number and gender of children best suited to you. You will be able to read the report and make any comments about the contents.
Panel - You will be required to attend the foster panel meeting where your assessment will be discussed with you. You will be notified of the panel’s recommendation by the Chair at the end of the meeting. If you are approved, details of the terms will be confirmed in writing and you will receive a Foster Care Agreement which details our expectations of you and the way that we will support and help you in your task.
For more information please contact a member of our team who will be happy to assist you. You can either call us directly on: 0845 094 5651 or complete our contact form below. We looking forward to hearing from you!