The Application Process
The Application Process Explained
The first steps
- An experienced social worker will respond to your initial enquiry and be available to have
an informal discussion.
- If you are still interested then arrangements will be made to have a more in depth discussion and if your application is to be progressed we will ask you to fill in an application form.
The Assessment and Preparation Process
- Once your application is received, we will undertake both statutory checks and personal references, including police checks and enquiries of other statutory agencies. A medical will be requested at our expense.
- The assessment process includes attendance at preparation workshops. If you have a partner then both adults will need to attend.
- An experienced social worker will begin a home study, getting to know you and important people in your network. This process is a two-way partnership, getting to know you as well as providing you with as much information and advice as you need. The social worker will meet with you approximately eight times.
- The social worker will meet with your personal referees, and any children living with you or away from home are also seen.
- An in depth report will be prepared by the social worker and will include contributions from you. This report will be shared with you before presentation to the Fostering Panel, which you will be invited to attend.
- The panel receives a copy of your assessment before the meeting to allow time to consider this carefully. Panel members have full regard for confidentiality and will always welcome the opportunity to meet with you when your application is considered.
What happens after I am approved?
With your agreement we will prepare a personal profile containing a pen picture including the skills that you can offer. We will alert you to any placement requests that would potentially match your skills and home situation.
Before a placement is considered we will want to ensure that you have the necessary profile and background information about the child or young person. We regularly use a checklist to ensure nothing is overlooked.
If time allows we may organise a placement planning meeting. If an emergency placement then much of the planning is likely to be completed by phone.
We’re with you every step of the way
The agency prides itself on the high quality supervision and support that it provides for our foster carers:
- Generous fees and expenses that reflect the nature and task of fostering
- Weekly allowance for child 0-8 years of £371 and for child over 9 years £420
- Annual holiday allowance
- Respite allowance to help you recharge your batteries
- Additional travel expenses for out of the ordinary journeys
- Regular individual supervision and support sessions with experienced social worker
- Monthly support group meetings
- Ongoing programme of training and self development for carers
- Where additional training needs are identified we will access and fund it.
- Access to 24 hour support.
- Membership of FosterTalk.
- Access to a range of expert advice when necessary
- Practical help and support with administrative tasks
- Regular informal events with other foster carers
- Help in completing your initial post approval training
- Your annual review will be chaired by an independent person to enhance objectivity and ensure you have a say
Do children and young people have contact with their own families?
Contact with their own families is very important to children and young people in foster care, and as a foster carer, you will need to help maintain this if it is felt to be appropriate.
Contact can be direct (face to face) or indirect (telephone, email or letters) and you will receive advice and support to help you manage this. Contact may often take place in a neutral setting and arrangements for contact are planned in advance.
What does my fostering allowance cover?
Your weekly allowance is divided into two parts. The Maintenance element covers the living costs such as food, clothes, basic travel and household bills. The Reward element is in recognition of the fostering task.
Our foster carers work on a “self employed” basis and receive very sympathetic consideration by Revenue and Customs on income derived solely from fostering.
Individual and more general advice on taxation is available from a number of sources including Revenue and Customs. Please contact us for information.