So you’re interested in becoming a foster carer with Caldecott Fostering. What happens next?
The first thing to do is either call us on 0300 303 8794 or complete an online enquiry form on this website. We always start the assessment process with a conversation, either on the phone or face to face.
This conversation is to get to know each other a little better and why you’re interested in fostering. It’s also a good opportunity to check that you have the basic requirements to become a foster carer.
If you meet the basic requirements and would like to talk to us in more detail about the process we will arrange a home visit to meet you and your family. If after the home visit, you want to proceed, we will ask you to complete an application form.
Once you return the completed application form to us, the assessment process officially begins. You will be visited by a social worker, who will conduct a series of meetings with you to learn about your personal history, your family and your experiences. We will also complete some checks on you, including personal and work references, a DBS, and a medical.
MAKE AN ENQUIRY
If you are interested in becoming a Caldecott foster carer, either contact us on 0300 303 8794 or complete our enquiry form and we will get in touch.
Here is a detailed list of the steps involved in the process of becoming a foster carer with us. It may seem daunting at first, but you will be guided and supported through each stage by our professional team.
- Initial enquiry: either by phone or by completing our online enquiry form.
- Home visit by one of our team: we will visit you at home so we can get to know each other a little more. We will talk in more detail about the role of a foster carer and answer any questions you may have. If you meet our minimum criteria and are interested in proceeding, we will give you an application form to complete.
- Application form returned: we will begin the process of conducting statutory checks and references for your assessment. These include, DBS, Local Authority check, medical, personal references and professional references.
- Training: you will be invited to attend a ‘Skills to Foster’ course, where you will meet other applicants in assessment and explore fostering in-depth. This course will help you finalise your thoughts about becoming a carer; the course is always very popular and essential to helping you decide whether fostering is right for you and your family. Attending this course forms part of your assessment.
- Formal assessment: this the longest part of the process and will require a series of interviews and conversations with an assessing social worker in your home (this will include meeting with any other people who live in your house (including birth children). The social worker will use the information from these visits to write a report on your suitability to foster, which you will review and be able to comment on. The final report will also include recommendations of the type of fostering you are most suitable for including the age ranges of children you wish to care for.
- Fostering Panel: when the formal assessment is complete you will be invited to attend our Young Persons’ Fostering Panel. The Young Persons’ Panel is made up of young people in foster care. They want to learn about your motivation to foster and your potential to be good foster carers and look after vulnerable children. This is an informal process so please don’t feel nervous! Feedback from our foster carers is that they really enjoy this panel and value the opportunity to speak to the young people about fostering. On a separate day, you will be invited to attend the Fostering Panel, whose members are independent of our agency and come with a diverse range of backgrounds relevant to young people in care. The Panel will review your application and discuss aspects of it with you and your assessing social worker. At the end of this meeting, the Panel will make a recommendation to either approve or not approve you as a foster carer with Caldecott Fostering.
- Final Decision: following the panel meeting, the panel’s recommendation to approve you or not will be sent to a senior professional working in Caldecott known as the ‘Agency Decision Maker”. This individual will review your application and the Panel’s recommendation and then make a final decision. If you are approved by the Decision Maker, then you will have completed your journey to become a Caldecott foster carer!
The average time for the assessment process is around four to six months maximum. Once you are approved, your induction begins and we start discussing young people who may be a suitable match for your family.