How do I foster?

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We would love you to give us a call or complete the contact form and we will telephone you at a convenient moment for an informal chat. We can answer any questions you might have about fostering and the assessment process and tell you about Fostering London. We will then let you decide if you would like an initial visit.
This is an informal visit with a friendly and knowledgeable member of staff who can answer all of your questions about fostering and what it is like to foster with our agency. We will also ascertain your suitability to foster and together make decisions about the next step.

If you wish to proceed you will need to complete an application form that requires details about you and members of your household. We will also require your consent to undertake a number of checks including:

  • An enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service which sets out any criminal convictions.
  • A Medical check to establish medical history, current health and any medication taken.
  • A Local Authority Check.
  • A minimum of two personal references.
  • Where applicable an ex-partner reference.
  • A current employer reference. Ofsted require us to check out with all former employers where you have worked with children/young people or vulnerable adults.
  • A school reference if your child/ren is still in education.

These checks are necessary to ensure that those who are entrusted to care for our vulnerable children are safe and secure.

This is a 3-day pre-approval training course that is run as an introduction to fostering and is an opportunity to meet our friendly trainers and fellow prospective foster carers. The course is informative but also enjoyable and will help you gain a greater understanding of the fostering role. We explore the rewards and challenges you might face and consider the impact of loss, separation and trauma on the lives of children and young people.
An assessing social worker is appointed and will visit you and members of your household to carry out your fostering assessment. This usually involves about 6-8 visits to your home. The social worker will assess your skills, capabilities and competencies to foster. The information gathered helps us to decide together about the most suitable range of children/young people you can care for. This is your terms of approval.
Your assessment report will be presented to our fostering panel. Our panel consists of independent people from fostering, education, health and other relevant backgrounds. Our panel will make a recommendation as to your suitability to foster which will take account of your terms of approval which include age range, number of children, placement type and gender etc. This information is used to match you with foster children and young people.
The Agency Decision Maker will make the final decision about approval. If approved then you are now ready to begin fostering and join our community of foster carers!