Our recruitment process
Our assessment approach enables FosterCare UK to find out about you and your family and to make a decision about whether or not you should become approved Foster Carers with FosterCare UK. It is an extremely important process to ensure that all children and young people placed in foster care are safe, secure and can reach their full potential.
In line with Regulations, FosterCare UK follow a two stage process:
Once you have completed and returned your “Expression of Interest form”, we will arrange for our Recruitment Coordinator to contact you by telephone within 3 working days. Following this, an initial home visit may be arranged to discuss your Expression of Interest further. It is a two-way discussion to help you understand more about fostering and the assessment process and to enable the Social Worker to gather information about you and your family. We hope to ensure the initial visit will take place within 15 working days of your Expression of Interest being received.
If the outcome of the initial visit is to progress, you will be required to attend a two day course called 'Skills to Foster', which is fun and informative. The facilitation of this course is managed by FosterCare UK managers and social workers with additional support and input from approved foster carers and young people that have experienced the care system. The trainers will produce feedback which will be considered as part of your Expression of Interest.
If the outcome of the “Skills to Foster” course is to progress, FosterCare UK will undertake a variety of statutory and non-statutory safeguarding checks including an Enhanced DBS Check, Local Authority check, employer and/or current fostering organisation, ex-partner references, children of previous relationships, voluntary work references, school/health visitor reports (in relation to your children), medical reports, personal references and a health and safety audit of your home.
Once all of the above checks and references have been returned, all information will be reported to the Agency Decision Maker, who will make the final decision in terms of not continuing with your Expression of Interest or agreement to assign a qualified Social Worker to undertake a full fostering assessment (Stage 2). You will be informed of either decision within 10 working days of the final safeguarding checks being received.
If the Agency Decision Maker is in agreement for you to progress to a full fostering assessment, stage 2 will commence. You will then be allocated an Assessing Social Worker, who will need to visit your home a minimum of eight times to gather information about you and your family and to provide you with information about fostering and FosterCare UK. The Social Worker will produce an assessment report that we refer to as a Form F. Amongst other things this provides information about you and your family of origin, significant personal relationships you have had and your current family, your health, education, employment, support network, accommodation and lifestyle, financial circumstances, income and expenditure, the reasons you wish to foster, your understanding of fostering and the way it will affect you and your family.
At the end of the assessment, the Form F report is presented to the Fostering Panel. You will need to attend the Fostering Panel to meet with the Panel members. They will consider your assessment and will then make a recommendation about your approval as a Foster Carer(s); the final decision is made by the Agency's Decision Maker.
Whilst each assessment is an individual process and the length of time an assessment takes varies to some extent, we endeavour to ensure that the Stage 2 process is completed within four months. Throughout stage 2, qualified and experienced members of FosterCare UK will be available to advise and support you. It is our expectation that you take a full positive part in your assessment.
If you are currently fostering for an agency and wish to transfer to FosterCare UK, stage 1 and stage 2 can happen concurrently. Should you have children and young people in placement, protocol meetings will form part of Stage 1.
At FosterCare UK on average we complete Stage 1 and Stage 2 within a 20 week period.