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Applying to foster

Try to speak to foster carers in your area - this can be a very useful way to find out what fostering is really like.

Becoming a foster carer
Contact your local fostering service – they will send you further information about fostering for them and ask you some questions about your suitability to foster.

You will either be invited to attend an information session or the fostering service will offer for a member of their team to come out and visit you

Once you have gathered more information you should decide whether or not to make a formal application to foster to the fostering service of your choice.

The fostering service will now start your application, they will assign you with a social worker who will support you throughout the process and also carry out a thorough assessment on you and your household.

Crucial to the process of becoming a foster carer is attending the pre-approval training. All foster carers complete a thorough training course, usually The Skills to Foster, which will prepare you and the other members of your household for a career in fostering.
Your assessment continues including thorough background checks from the Criminal Records Bureau, local authority and personal and professional referees.

Once your assessment is complete your social worker will submit a full report to the fostering panel who will consider your suitability to foster. The fostering panel will make a recommendation about your approval to the fostering service.

The fostering service will make a final decision about your approval to foster and inform you in writing if you have been successful along with your terms of approval.

Sometimes it can take a while for a child or children to be fostered by you. It is important that your fostering service makes sure that you are the right foster carer to look after a particular child or children. Making a good match is essential for a successful fostering placement.

Throughout your career as a foster carer you will receive support and supervision from your fostering service as well as the opportunity of ongoing learning and development. The fostering service will review your approval to foster annually.

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