In order to foster you need:
- To be over 21
- To have a spare bedroom
- To have parented (including step-parents) or worked with children
In order to foster you need:
Complete the initial enquiry form on this website or call our office on 0115 671 1099. Some initial details will be taken and a half hour telephone call will be scheduled. Following the telephone discussion, your potential suitability to be a Foster Carer will be agreed and you are deemed suitable, a home visit will be arranged.
The home visit will take 1.5 to 2 hours, within your home at a time to suit you. You will learn the benefits of fostering and the challenges too. We will discuss what types of fostering may suit you and the types of children and young people currently being referred to our service. We will need to take some more information about the people living in your household and your support network and will explain the assessment process and the payments. If it’s felt (by both parties) that fostering is for you, we will leave an application form for you to complete (or you can complete it online). Once we receive your completed application, you will be invited to Skills to Foster training and an Assessor will be allocated to you.
Skills to Foster training is a 3 day training programme that forms part of your assessment. The Skills to Foster course provides basic information that will enable people interested in fostering to decide whether it is for them or not. The course is facilitated by two members of our team.
Usually takes 5-6 months (but can be much quicker for Foster Carers transferring from another agency). The Assessor will get to know you and will write a Form F Assessment report. This will include information about you, your upbringing, your experiences, your work history, your family and friends and the skills you possess that will make you a good Foster Carer. We will need to seek checks and references from a range of people as part of this process which includes your personal referees, a local authority check, medicals, DBS (Police clearance), financial assessment etc.
Once the Form F Assessment is complete, it will be presented to the Fostering Panel. The ‘Panel’ is made up of people from different backgrounds – social care, education, health, and people who have been fostered or currently foster children. The Panel will decide on their ‘recommendation’ about your suitability to foster and this goes to the Agency Decision Maker (ADM) for final ratification. At this point you have been approved to be a Foster Carer for Star Fostering.
You will receive two induction visits to go through the important aspects of fostering and what it entails. Discussions will take place about ‘matching’ a child to your family. There will be discussions about what types of behaviour you feel you can manage. You will be given access to the agencies recording system and shown how to use this as well as access to the agency’s policies and procedures. You will be allocated a ‘Supervising Social Worker’ who will be your ‘go to’ person for support and supervision,
Matching a child or young person to your family – it is important that we carefully consider together how you can welcome the right child into your family, particularly if you have children of your own at home. We will make ‘profiles’ about you to be shown to the local authority and later to the child. Getting the right match is very important as it increases the likelihood of a successful fostering experience.
Sometimes we have the opportunity to do planned introductions, with a child or young person visiting for a short time, then coming for tea, then a sleepover and then moving in. However, there are often times, particularly following a court case, when their will be a short notice period before the child arrives. You will be supported with their arrival by your Supervising Social Worker and the child’s Social Worker. You will receive regular support telephone calls and visits whilst the child is settling into your family.