Here is a list of the steps involved in the process of becoming a foster carer with the Caldecott Fostering Service. It may seem daunting at first but you will be guided through each stage by one of our social workers…so don’t be put off.
The first step is for you to complete the initial enquiry form which you can find by clicking here. Once we receive the form, one of our social workers examines it carefully to build up a picture of your life, work experience, accommodation and reasons for wishing to foster. The more information you can give the better. If you are successful we will forward to you an application form and further information about becoming a foster carer. If you are unsuccessful at this stage, you will be informed in writing of the reasons.
On receipt of your completed application form one of our social workers will contact you to arrange a home visit so that we can explore your interest further will you and your family.
A social worker will arrange a convenient date to visit you in your home. This initial visit may take up to two hours. During this visit, you will be asked about your family and your experience of caring for children and we can answer any questions that you may have. The social worker will write up a report about the visit and will share it with their manager. At this point, a decision will be made as to whether to proceed with your application. You will be informed of the decision in writing.
Caldecott Fostering Service will then invite you to a training course called “Skills to Foster” where you will meet other applicants and explore in some depth issues about fostering. This course will help you finalise your thoughts about becoming a carer and give you the opportunity to discuss your thoughts and ideas with other applicants. The course is always very popular and essential to helping you decide whether fostering is for you and your family.
The formal assessment is the longest part of the process and will require a series of interviews/conversations in your home (this will include meeting with any other people who live in the house). The social worker will use the information you provide during the visits to write a report which you will see and will be asked to comment on. Caldecott Fostering Service will carry out Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) as well as other checks on all adult members of the household. References will be taken up; including personal references and you will be required to undertake a full medical. Whilst the process may appear daunting at first sight, be assured that it isn’t and most importantly it will help to ensure that when the first child is placed with you and your family, you are sure this is what you want to do.
When the report is completed, you will be invited to attend our fostering panel. The panel will decide whether or not to approve you as a foster carer for Caldecott Fostering Service. The panel includes members who are independent of the agency. You will have the opportunity to meet with the chair of the panel prior to the panel meeting starting. If you are approved, Caldecott Fostering Service will commence identifying children who you may be able to care for. If you are not approved, you will be notified in writing of the reasons why.