The Journey to Foster Carer Approval

Children drawing with their foster carer

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Preparation and assessment as an approved foster carer involves the following stages.

There is no hard-and-fast rule about how long this process takes; it depends on factors such as your availability to meet with a Social Worker. 

As a general guide, the Government benchmark for approval is eight months from the start of assessment (the benchmark for connected carer placements is 16 weeks).

Information Pack
Request an information pack by completing the online form (see below) or telephone the Children’s Fostering and Carers Team on 01642 526218. The Information Pack explains in detail what each stage of preparation and assessment involves.

Information Session
After reading and processing the information in the information pack, we hope you decide to progress your enquiry further. We invite you to attend one of our information sessions held regularly throughout the year. You will be able to have a chat with a Social Worker and gather more detail about the fostering journey. Sessions are informal, local and a convenient way to ask questions before progressing to the ‘Initial Visit’ stage.

Initial Visit
Complete the application form within the information pack and two Social Workers from the Children’s Fostering and Carers Team will arrange to visit you at home. They will discuss with you the assessment process in more detail, and talk to you about your motivations and expectations.

The assessment stage involves a series of visits to your home, usually eight-ten sessions, around 2 hours each visit. Visits include meetings with household members.

Read a prospective foster carer's thoughts on assessment.

Preparation Group
You will attend a preparation and training course which usually spans four days – two sessions of two days each.

The Panel
A Social Worker presents your home study to the panel who will consider your application.

Final Decision
The Agency Decision Maker will make a final decision about whether you should be approved.

If you are approved, your Supervising Social Worker will work with you to match you with children needing placements.


Contact us for an Information Pack

Telephone: 01642 526218

Email: [email protected]

                                                 Request an information pack online                                               

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