Your fostering journey

Your ‘Initial Enquiry’

If you are interested in finding out more about becoming foster carer you can contact us by phone by calling 01753 550031; by email at; or by completing the “contact us” form on this website. We understand that sometimes people just want a bit more information. We would be happy to talk to you, answering any questions you may have, and with no ties if you decide fostering is not for you.

The Initial visit.

If we think that Fostering is right for you, we will carry out a home visit. This gives us an opportunity to meet you; to tell you more about becoming a foster carer; to answer any questions you may have; and to explain the assessment process.

The Skills to Foster course

This course is run over 2 to 3 days and is an opportunity to gain more detailed information about what fostering involves and decide if fostering is right for you. If you wish to continue and we agree, you will be asked to complete a fostering application form.

The Assessment.

Once your application has been accepted the formal assessment process begins. There are two stages to the assessment process. During stage one statutory checks are required and include:

  • DBS (sometimes referred to as a criminal records check)
  • Each applicant arranging to have a medical with their GP
  • References (employment, personal, and school – if an applicant has children of school age)
  • Local Authority checks
  • Home Health and Safety Check
  • Pet Assessments

Stage one will be done concurrently with stage two where a detailed report called a FORM F will be completed by a qualified social worker. This assessment report will cover:

  • your individual family histories
  • chronologies for each applicant covering education, employment and significant life events
  • previous life experiences and their relevance to fostering
  • personal and household circumstances and reasons why you wish to foster.

Finally, the assessing social worker will make a recommendation about whether you should be approved as foster carers.

The Fitzgerald Fostering Panel

Fitzgerald Fostering Panel is made up of a number of independent people, from a range of backgrounds and professional experience. The panel members will meet to consider the assessment information and to make a recommendation about whether you should be approved as foster carers. You will attend this panel with the social worker that completed your assessment and they will also support you during this meeting.

The Agency Decision Maker

Following the Foster Panel meeting their recommendation, the minutes of the meeting, and all related paperwork are submitted to the Agency Decision Maker. It is the agency decision maker that makes the final decision about your approval, or not, as foster carers. Once they have made their decision they will write to you to confirm the decision.

Your first placement

Once you are approved as a foster carer you will be allocated a supervising social worker, who will support you through your fostering career.

As soon as you are approved we can place children with you. We receive many requests for children needing foster carers to look after them. When we receive a referral for a placement that looks like a child is an appropriate match to you and your family we will phone you to discuss the referral with you. If you agree that the child would be an appropriate match we would put you forward as possible carers and if successful, the child would then be placed with you.