The foster care experience

The types of foster care available are not limited to just one. There are various, and each kind works its magic in its own special way. Sometimes, children and teens may require short-term foster care for just a few days, while others may live with their foster family for their entire childhood and beyond.

When a child or teen is put in foster care in London, we don’t just assign them to a random location. After careful checks have been done on all applicants, we work with you to complete an assessment of your strengths and what you have to offer children and young people. We provide children with a safe, and caring family, and we’ll always try to place them in a location close to their previous home -ultimately providing both the child and birth parents with an opportunity to resolve their issues.

So who can foster?

UK foster carers are trained, assessed, and approved to look after foster children. At Apple, we ensure they are fully trained to the point that they become child care experts. They work as part of a team of professionals, and provide children with only the highest standard of care.

Whether it’s an overnight stay or many years to come, our foster carers here at Apple Fostering provide love, warmth, and a positive experience of family life for as long as necessary – ultimately making a huge difference to the lives of children and teens in the UK.

  • Married, divorced, or single
  • Male or female

  • Gay or straight
  • Already looking after your own children

  • Employed, unemployed or retired

  • A home owner or rent or receive housing benefits

The fostering process

When you apply to become a foster carer with Apple Fostering, there are a number of steps that you will go through:

  1. First enquiry – Get in touch with Apple Fostering to register your interest in about becoming a foster carer
  2. Initial contact with you – We’ll give you a call or meet to find out a bit about you and explain what we do
  3. Application form and references – We’ll ask you to fill in a detailed form about yourself and members of your household. This will include Disclosure and Barring Service checks, health records review and requesting employment and personal references.
  4. Fostering preparation training session – We will invite you to attend a group preparation session with other applicants so that you can find out more about fostering. We’ll explain the types of foster parents we are looking for and the types of foster care we provide.
  5. Assess your suitability to foster – A social worker will visit you several times. This is so that we can find out if you’re suitable and discuss your reasons for becoming a foster parent and discuss your experience with children. This process will include meeting with your immediate family and discussing your living arrangements and requesting references. Please note, the assessment process can take up to six months.
  6. Approval process – The Apple Fostering panel will review the application and recommend if you should become a foster carer or not. You may be asked to attend a meeting with our fostering panel before we make the make the final decision. The results of the assessments will also give recommendations of which kind of child will be best suited to you.
  7. Welcome home! – You become a foster carer and join the Apple Fostering family.

Training to help you become a foster carer

As part of the preparation and assessment, potential foster carers’ must complete fostering training. Foster carers receive ongoing training throughout their time with Apple Fostering to ensure that they pass their annual review, and successfully provide incredible care for the children under their roof.

Here at Apple, we aim to deliver the highest standards of support on behalf of children and young people. We follow the fostering regulations with great detail to ensure that our carers deliver the best possible outcomes for children who need them most.

1.DBS Checks

We are required to carry out a series of checks on all prospective foster carers. These include DBS checks – Disclosure and Barring Service checks, as well as checks with your employer if with children or vulnerable adults and local authority.

2.GP Checks

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.

3. Assessment

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.

Fostering Panel

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.

Fostering Regulations

All fostering agencies are required to register with Ofsted who carry out inspections of the service every three years.

Ofsted’s inspections are undertaken against the Fostering Regulations 2011 and the Fostering National Minimum Standards together with other statutory guidance issue by the government. These set out the expectations of fostering agencies and the minimum standards which foster carers must adhere to.

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