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Six steps to fostering

Being assessed as a foster carer can appear a daunting process, so we’ve broken it down into six simple steps to make it easier to understand.

Let’s start off with a chat about how we can help you start your fostering journey. We will answer any questions you have and outline the fostering process. To help you get started we will send you our information pack which is a really useful resource for anyone thinking of fostering.

If you decide to take the next step, one of our support workers will visit you at home to find out more about you and anybody within your household. This is an opportunity for you to ask us any questions and for us to see your home and the space you have available. Together we will discuss which type of fostering is right for you and whether it is the right time to get started.

After meeting with us you can fill out the application in your own time. Once we receive your application you will be assigned a supporting social worker who will guide you through the rest of the process. They will help you to supply a number of references and undertake several checks including employment references, background checks and medical reports. Don’t worry, this is standard practice and legally required as part of all fostering assessments.

To help you prepare to become a foster carer you will attend a fostering preparation course. This invaluable course will give you the skills you will need for your first placement. During the assessment process your supporting social worker will visit regularly. You will talk together about your life, early years, current family situation and experiences that could affect the way you would care for a child. During this time you will decide with your support worker what age  you prefer and type of fostering placements you will offer. These visits and discussions will be 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 this report before it is finalised.

You will be invited to attend a fostering panel with your supporting social worker where your report will be presented. The 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.

Congratulations! Once you are approved by the panel you are now a B&NES foster carer. You will receive plenty of training to help you look after the children in your care. We will provide you with the support you need to help you have the most enjoyable and rewarding experience possible.