Your fostering journey
Becoming a foster carer is not a decision to be taken lightly, so you may take months or years before you decide to apply. We also must make sure that you will be a good match for the looked after children so there is a comprehensive process to go through before you become an approved foster carer. The whole process will take 4 to 5 months.
Step 1: Initial Enquiry
When you call us you will have a chat with one of our experienced Social workers who will ask a few questions which will help you and us to decide if fostering is the right career for you. This is a no obligation conversation and there will be a joint decision about whether you want to proceed.
Step 2: Home Visit
After talking to one of our Social Workers and agreeing that you would like to find out more about fostering with F5 who will visit you in your home. This gives you a further opportunity to ask any questions and help you decide if fostering is right for you and your family now.
Step 3: Application
If it is decided that fostering is right for you, the F5 team member will leave you an application form for you to complete and return to us. Once this has been completed and returned, we can go to the next stage of completing the various necessary background checks on you.
Step 4: Checks
A number of background checks are carried out as part of your assessment using the Prospective Foster Carer Report devised by CoramBAAF to determine your suitability. This includes checks from the Disclosure and Barring service, Social Services and other agencies, alongside medical checks and a assessment. Our administrator will be responsible for processing your assessment and will keep you updated at every stage.
Step 5: Training
During your assessment you will attend a comprehensive training and workshop programme to ensure you are thoroughly prepared for fostering. This will give you an opportunity to meet other applicants and experienced foster trainers who can answer your questions from real experience. We also allocate an experienced Foster carer who can buddy you through your assessment.
Step 6: Assessment
When you have completed your training an Assessing social worker will be allocated to complete your report. This is a very in- depth journey which looks at your family background, education and employment history, personality and relationships. It also looks at your experience of caring for children and the qualities that you bring to fostering. This assessment also continues to help you understand the role and responsibilities of being Foster Carers. Your buddy will continue to support you throughout the assessment.
Step 7: Fostering Panel
The independent fostering panel is made up of ten individuals who offer either personal or professional experience of fostering. You are asked to attend the panel meeting where you will be asked some final questions and all your positive qualities are discussed alongside any areas of concern. The Panel will make a recommendation to us based on your portfolio and the panel meeting. The Decision Maker at F5 Fostering will then ultimately decide if you are the right kind of person to become a F5 Foster Carer.
Step 8: Approved Foster Carer
Once approved you will be able to have suitable children placed in your care. You will be assigned a Supervising Social Worker who will meet with you regularly to make sure all is going to plan and help you get over any hurdles fostering presents. You will continue to receive support and training to help you bring the best out in the looked after child and give them the confidence to fulfil their potential.