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How do I become a Foster Carer is a commonly asked question. Often people believe it is an arduous and unnecessarily cumbersome process. Not at all!
Eastern Fostering Services have produced a simple guide to how to become a foster carer. We have broken it down into 5 easy steps and tried to make it as simple as possible.
We have also included some information for those who are already fostering and considering transferring fostering provider.
Start by doing your research. You can check out local fostering providers using Google or you can look up providers on The Fostering Network. Once you have a list of providers, visit their websites and get a feel for them. Do you feel they are interested in carers and children? Do you feel they would support you? Do you like their ethos?
Once you have a shortlist, contact them and ask them your questions!
Step 1: Register your interest
How do you find out which fostering providers to approach? As with anything in life, when it comes to becoming a foster carer, you should do your research. As a foster carer, you will need excellent support so you should look for local fostering providers who offer quality, 24 hour support. Smaller agencies are often better placed to offer quality, tailored support. The Fostering Network have a tool on their website that allows you to search for local fostering providers. Moreover the internet is an excellent source of information. However, you need to know what you are looking for when
Step 2: The home visit
Once you have done your research and have decided you want to become a foster carer, you can arrange a home visit. An important part of your journey to become a foster carer is to ensure you are well informed. To this end, the home visit is an excellent opportunity to ask any questions you have about fostering and becoming a foster carer. I want to become a foster carer. What questions should I ask? Deciding to become a foster carer can open up all sorts of questions and worries. Therefore it is important that the fostering service you are
Step 3: After the home visit
How do I proceed with the Fostering Application after the home visit? Once you have had your home visit and you, your family and the fostering provider are keen to go ahead with your fostering application, you are ready for the next stage of the process. The fostering application form. What information does the fostering application form require? We need quite a bit of information from you in order to proceed with your fostering application. The assessment will consist of information gathering both behind the scenes and directly from you in the form of face to face meetings. The application
Step 4: The Fostering Assessment
What is the fostering assessment for? Once you have completed your application form and we have carried out the necessary checks, we will begin your fostering assessment. A fostering assessor will be assigned to you and your family. All of our assessors are friendly, keen to put you at your ease and experienced in producing fostering assessment reports. The job of your assessor is to provide a detailed report on you, your partner and your family. This report will look at your life experiences, motivation, strengths and qualities . It should also flag up training opportunities. In addition to this,
Step 5: The Fostering Panel
What is the fostering panel? Once your fostering assessment is complete and the report known as the Form F has been submitted, you will get a date to appear at panel. You are now well on your way to becoming a foster carer. For many prospective foster carers, the fostering panel can be a daunting prospect. However, the panel at Eastern Fostering Services are all keen to approve foster carers. As a result, they are there to ensure you are well prepared and that there are no glaring reasons as to why you should not be approved. We always maintain
How to transfer to Eastern Fostering Services
Foster carers need a lot of support from their fostering provider in order to confidently and successfully carry out the enormous task we ask of them. As a fostering agency, we do not pursue existing foster carers, however, we are sometimes approached by carers who are looking to transfer foster agencies.
The process at a glance
- Do your research – find out who your local providers are
- Meet prospective foster agencies and ask to speak to some of their carers
- Communicate your intention to transfer to your existing agency
- Attend transfer of foster agency protocol meeting
- Agree a transfer completion date with your new agency
- Transfer should be completed between 1 and 3 months depending on whether or not you are caring for children currently and in line with the timings that have been agreed according to your notice period.
By far the most common reason people tell us they want to transfer foster agencies is that they do not feel well supported by their current provider. In these circumstances, we feel it is really important that foster carers make the right choices about who to transfer to. In addition to this, foster carers need to know what they can expect and what the obligations of the fostering providers are.
The Fostering Assessment was a really positive experience for us. It made us wish we had done it earlier and not been put off by the horror stories. We are now very much enjoying fostering with Eastern Fostering Services - thank you EFS!