‘The mind-set is refreshing; the value base is all about the children’
(Ofsted report 2016)
After talking with one of the team we take some brief information and if appropriate will arrange a home visit.
All enquirers are visited during the initial stages, and their suitability and motivation to foster is assessed, prior to invitation to apply.
These visits are a two-way discussion and are conducted by a qualified social worker or manager experienced and skilled in the recruitment of foster carers.
During the visit we give information about the process, we are transparent about the level of information that is required before anyone can be approved as a foster carer.
From the outset potential carers are actively involved in the process to assist them in deciding if fostering is right for them.
Information will also be provided about the “Care giving and emotional warmth” model of fostering which we have integrated into our organisations approach.
We are always open about our expectations and how we will support people in achieving these.
Following the visit if appropriate the potential carer /foster family will be asked to complete and submit an Application form online. This also has the request for permission to undertake all the checks that are required in Stage 1 of the process. For example, references, (some referees will be visited) enhanced police checks (known as DBS), Medical reports, Local Authority checks, current employment references will be undertaken and checks on all members of the household over 16.
You may also complete the application form attached to this website and we will arrange a home visit from there.
Prospective carers attend an initial training event called the “Skills to Foster”. Qualified staff, a foster carer and sometimes a young person who has previously lived with foster families facilitate this. This is very much a two-way assessment process to determine if fostering is the right career choice.
Prospective carers are provided with a workbook, which supports this training and allows for comments and reflection to be documented, this will assist with the assessment process.
Following attendance, we will inform the prospective carers if we will be progressing to stage 2 or advising why this may not be the case.
During stage 2 prospective carers will be asked to attend an additional training events to look at attachment and the principles of fostering by adopting a “Secure base and emotional warmth” approach
Following the successful attendance at the preparation training, we will assign a qualified Social worker to undertake a comprehensive assessment with the prospective carer and his/her family. The information gathered will complete the BAAF F. form assessment report. (British Association of Adoption and Fostering)
This assessment usually requires the Social worker to undertake 20 hours direct contact with the family over a period of approximately 8 to 12 weeks.
This assessment report will cover; individual profiles of the applicants; existing and any previous relationships, children in the household; any adults living independently, description of family life; valuing diversity, and parenting capacity and skills (you do not have to have your own children to become a foster carer).
Prospective cares have access to all the information and sign the assessment report once completed.
Our panel is made up of a variety of people with diverse experience in the childcare field. Members include representatives from Health, education, therapy, fostering, care leavers, social work and safeguarding.
In addition, there are non-voting members: panel advisor and the panel administrator.
The members on the panel are independent and ensure a positive and rigorous process.
The panel in addition to making recommendation on approval, has a quality assurance function and provides an annual report and regular feedback on the development of the organization and the quality of the assessments.
Prospective foster carers and the social worker who undertook the assessment attend the panel and will be asked questions regarding their application, assessment and to provide more detailed information/clarification if necessary.
The panel then make a recommendation regarding approval which is then passed to the agency decision maker (ADM) with whom the final approval decision rests.
The ADM is a qualified Senior Social Worker.
Prospective carers will be informed verbally immediately and the decision confirmed within 10 days.