Take the First Step
If you are still interested after reading the information on our website, then give us a call at our head office on 01706 623540. You may just have a question or have actually thought things through and have decided it is the right time to foster.
Because we have to make sure that children can be placed where they will be nurtured, protected and flourish, we have to follow lots of steps.
The process below shows you what these steps are and how long it might all take.
Give us a call, or fill in the expression of interest form on line. If you still just want to just know a little more, we can have an informal chat, or we can send out an information pack for you to look at.
We will arrange to come out to your home to see you; if you are applying with a partner then they need to be there too. This is an opportunity to talk a little more about fostering, see the room that will become the foster child’s room and to answer any further questions you may have at this stage.
If you have chosen to continue and we feel you are right to continue at this stage then you will be invited to the initial Skills to Foster Training. This will take place at a venue within your local area over 3 days and you must be able to attend all the sessions. It will help you understand a little more about the children who need fostering, but also is an opportunity to meet other members of the team, including other Foster Carers.
If you still want to offer to foster at this stage and we feel you have the potential to foster then we will invite you to proceed with stage 1 of the application. This is where we will carry out police checks, medicals and references, we are sure you understand why we have to do this.
At this stage we might also start stage 2 of the assessment. This will be the same Social Worker throughout who will do quite a few visits to you, find out more about you and what you could offer to children who might come to stay. We will also talk to any relevant family members. The assessment will include discussions about your background, experiences, parenting ability and skills you can bring to fostering.
Together with your Social Worker you will provide the evidence required to complete the assessment ready for your approval.
Once you have read and signed the final report, it will then be presented to a Fostering Panel. The panel is made up of 6 or more people from a range of professions, such as health, education and social work. You will have an opportunity to meet the panel and will be supported throughout by your Social Worker. The Fostering Panel will make a recommendation as to whether you should be approved as a Foster Carer.
If approved by the Agency Decision Maker, then you are ready to Foster. If you are not approved then there is an appeal process that we can make you aware of.
Don’t be put off by the process, it is necessary and will help you and us decide whether fostering is right for you and your family. The whole process takes between 4 to 6 months.
Please note – if you are unsuccessful after stage 1 of the assessment, the Agency Decision Maker will write to you within 10 working days with the decision not to accept your offer to foster and tell you why. You cannot appeal against this decision at this point of the assessment, but if you think the way things have been dealt with has been unfair then you can have a chat with us or make a complaint. If we decide not to continue because of something in stage 2 of the assessment, you can appeal or go to the IRM.
We really do believe that “every child DOES matter” and so do you, so if you are ready to foster, contact Capstone Foster Care, we look forward to hearing from you.