You are now thinking about fostering but before you apply, it’s important to know about the fostering assessment process.
When you get in touch with us to talk about becoming a foster carer you will be invited to attend an informal session or have an initial visit.
After this you will be invited to attend a skills to foster preparation group where we will teach you about what is involved in fostering. After this you can formally apply to be assessed for fostering.
At Apple Fostering, we give you training to help you get through the fostering assessment process.
The fostering assessment process usually takes between three to six months (though this can be quicker depending on how long it takes you to get your required checks done). If we decide not to assess you for whatever reason, you will be given a written explanation telling you why.
There are a number of considerations that we must look at during the fostering assessment process.
We will therefore need to ask you a lot of personal questions so that we have all the information we need. During the assessment you will be assigned a social worker who will look at whether you are suitable for becoming a foster carer, and if so, what type of child or young person you would best be suited to caring for.
You will be asked about your reasons for fostering and your experience with children and childcare.
As part of the assessment, you will be visited at home by the social worker who will meet with everyone in your immediate family and look at your living arrangements.
We are required to carry out a series of checks on all prospective foster carers. These include DBS checks – Disclosure and Barring Service checks – (previously known as CRB checks), as well as checks with your employer if with children or vulnerable adults and local authority.
You will also have to undergo a health check with your GP. Three personal references will be required from referees, who will need to meet with the social worker to share their views about your suitability to be a carer.
The result of the assessment is a written report called a Form F assessment. This will include recommendations on the kind of child or young person that you would be best suited to care for.
After receiving the Form F assessment, you will be invited to attend a meeting with the fostering panel. The panel will make a recommendation and after this a final decision will be made.