Becoming a foster carer, step by step We understand that the idea of becoming a foster carer can seem daunting, especially if you don’t understand the application process itself. We have broken the process down into six simple stages to help you navigate your next steps to becoming a foster carer. Step1: Talk to usshow Before anything else, we recommend that you chat to us. We will answer any of your questions and explain the fostering process. We will then send you an information pack to help you get started, including useful resources for anyone thinking of fostering. Contact us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 01225 394949. Alternatively, register your interest in becoming a foster carer by taking our online quiz. Step 2: Meet with usshow If you decide to continue on your fostering journey, one of our team will visit you at home. This visit will allow us to get to know you and your household. It is also a great opportunity for you to ask us any questions in person and for us to see your home and the space you might have available. Together we will discuss which type of fostering is right for you and whether it is the right time to get started. Step 3: Fill out your applicationshow After meeting us, you can fill out your application in your own time. When we receive your application, you will be assigned a supporting social worker who will guide you through the rest of the process. Your supporting social worker or a member of our admin team will undertake several checks that could include the following: Employment references Background checks Medical reports You don’t need to worry about any of these checks, they are standard practice and legally required as part of all fostering assessments. Step 4: Training and assessmentshow We want to make sure that you are as prepared as possible to become a foster carer. To help you, you will attend a fostering preparation course. This preparation course will give you all the skills you need for your first placement. Once we have received your fostering application you will be able to access most of our existing training. Your supporting social worker will visit you regularly during the assessment process. You will talk about your life, your childhood, your current family situation and any experiences that could affect the way you would care for a child. You and your supporting social worker will decide what age group you’d prefer to foster and what type of placement you could offer. These visits and conversations will form the basis of a fostering assessment report about you and your family. Your supporting social worker will guide you through this part of the process and you will be able to review the report before it is finalised. Step 5: Approvalshow You will be invited to attend a fostering panel with your supporting social worker. This panel is where your report will be presented. The fostering panel is a group of people who have experience and knowledge about fostering. They will discuss your report and you may be asked questions. The panel will recommend whether you are ready to be approved as a foster carer at this time. Step 6: You are a B&NES foster carershow Congratulations! Once you are formally approved by the panel, you are now a B&NES foster carer. You will receive plenty of training and support to look after the children in your care. We will provide you with the support you need to have the most enjoyable and rewarding experience possible as a foster carer.