At Fostering Connections we understand that for those considering becoming a foster carer, the process can seem quite daunting. We aim to provide you with all the information you need to ensure that you make an informed decision to become a foster carer. Fostering a child will be a life changing decision for you, your family and your foster child and we would like to support you in making this decision. We are supported by experienced fostering Social Workers and are available to answer any questions you may have.
Once you have made the decision to become a foster carer, simply complete our online Enquiry form or the ‘Request a Call Back’ form.
The Assessment Process
The Initial Visit will be an opportunity to have an informal chat with you about your family life and expectations of becoming a foster carer. It is also a chance for you to ask any questions you may have, or raise any anxieties you may be experiencing about fostering. The social worker will also explain the assessment process to you so you are aware of how detailed it will be. After this visit the decision will be made by the agency whether to proceed to a Form F Assessment.
The Form F Assessment process is a very detailed, time-consuming and at times intrusive process for any prospective carer. As an approved foster carer you will be working with vulnerable children and young people, and as such it is essential that the process is done in such a way as to ensure that only the people with the right skills, experience and understanding are approved. The completion of a Form F Assessment generally takes about 4 months, but some assessments may prove more complex than others and take longer.
The Form F Assessment is a lengthy report written by a qualified social worker from the agency, in partnership with you. It will look at, in detail, your current family situation, childhood experience and background. It is important to realise that the purpose of this assessment is to allow the assessing social worker to form a professional judgement on your abilities to meet the needs of looked after children and provide a suitable caring, safe and nurturing environment for them. This assessment is very much a two way process, and you will need to be prepared to take an active role in undertaking and completing it.
Once this assessment has been completed you will be invited to attend the Fostering Panel, this is where the decision on you becoming a foster carer will be formally made. The Panel includes staff from the fostering agency and Independent Panel Members appointed from a variety of appropriate sources including current foster carers (for another agency or local authority), a person who has previously been fostered and other people with relevant professional experience. The chair of the Panel is someone with considerable professional knowledge and experience of the needs of children/young people and fostering and is independent of the agency. You will be invited to attend and will be supported by your Assessing Social Worker who supported you through the application process. Providing the Panel recommends your approval, you will be registered as an approved foster carer with the Fostering Agency within a few days.