— Here is what you need to know...
—A few steps you will need to follow
We are always happy to welcome new foster carers. There are thousands of children in need of care. So the more carers we have, the better. This is why our application process is easy and transparent.
We have a strict no-discrimination policy. Anyone is welcome to apply as long as they show commitment, enthusiasm and a child-centred attitude.
Initial EnquiryThe process starts with you expressing interest to start fostering with Freedom Fostering. You can get in touch with us by filling a form online, by phone, email, or in person. This is a straight forward process.
Initial Home VisitWe’ll organise a visit to your home to chat about fostering in more detail and your decision to foster. If your application is accepted, we will start the preparation and assessment process. The assessment will explore your background information. The point of this is to build an accurate account of your family and life experiences so far. The interview process will be intrusive into your private life. Please note that family, extended family members and ex-partners will be interviewed as part of the Form F assessment process This is how we’ll assess your suitability as a foster carer. This time is also a great opportunity for you to ask any questions. You will be visited by a social worker usually around eight to ten times.
Skills to Foster Training
During the course of your Fostering Assessment, you will be invited to attend 6 sessions of the skills to foster training. Attendance at this course is mandatory but, we can be flexible depending on your availability. This training will provide you with important additional learning about fostering and the foster parent task.
You will have a chance to hear from experienced foster carers and learn about a range of issues. You will be introduced to the Training, Support and Development (TSD) standards for Fostering, which gives you a framework for your ongoing training and professional development.
Pre-Approval TrainingPre-approval training forms part of your assessment process and is designed to prepare you for the challenges ahead of you as a foster carer. It’s held at our offices and is run by our dedicated social workers and experienced foster carers. You’ll come away with a comprehensive understanding of what foster carers do, how to care safely, and how to support children when they leave your care. There’s no test at the end of your training, we would just like to prepare you for panel and approval.
The Fostering PanelOnce your assessment is completed and your Form F written, the report will be presented to the independent Fostering Panel – a group of people whose role is to ensure that your preparation has been thorough and comprehensive. You will be invited to attend the Fostering Panel, accompanied by your social work assessor. The panel will make a recommendation on your suitability to our Agency Decision Maker, who will make the final decision on whether you can be approved as a foster carer.
How long it will take to become a foster carer
Is the assessment process necessary?
All children needing foster care will have experienced separation from their family, with many having experienced neglect and abuse. They are, understandably, likely to be in great need of care. You must be well-prepared and confident in any situation you may face with fostering.