Foster carers have to be registered with either an approved independent fostering agency like Flying Colours or by a Local Authority before they are allowed to foster.
You can ring us and we will be happy to have an informal chat with you and answer any questions you may have. You can also email us or complete our enquiry form and we will ring you back.
If you want to know more about fostering with us we will arrange to come and visit you in your home to see where you live, learn a more about you, talk to you about your reasons for fostering and answer any questions you might have. We will also put you in touch with one of our experienced carers who will be happy to have an informal talk with you about the rewards and challenges of fostering and what it is like to foster with our agency.
Following this visit if we feel you have the potential to foster with us and you wish to take the next step we will invite you to complete an application form.
You complete an application form. We ask you to provide proof of identity and give details of personal referees who know you well. With your permission we ask your GP to give you a medical to ensure that you are fit and healthy. We also undertake a number of checks including police, social services, the NSPCC and previous employers. Minor offences or problems in your past would not rule you out from becoming a carer. Because we want to make sure we place children with families who are safe, caring and have the necessary skills to look after children, the procedure for assessing potential carers is very thorough.
One of our social workers will visit you in your home to complete your assessment over a period of three to four months. You are encouraged to tell us openly and honestly about yourself, your experiences and your skills. The decision to foster involves everyone in the household which means we will want to talk to other people living with you, including your children. This is also an opportunity for you to learn more about fostering and the needs of children who need a foster family.
During the assessment you will be expected to attend a four day preparation course at our office in Eccleshall. The course helps you to step into the shoes of a child who is fostered and to begin think about how to meet their needs and other aspects of fostering like working with a child’s birth family and supporting contact. You will gain a clearer idea of both the rewards and challenges you may face.
The social worker who assesses you writes a detailed report which will include contributions from you. You will see the report and have opportunity to comment on it before it is presented to the panel. Our panel is made up of people who have experience of fostering including a foster carer and someone who has been in care themselves. You will have the opportunity to attend the panel meeting. The panel will make the decision to recommend your approval as a foster carer. Our Agency Decision Maker will consider the panel’s recommendation and make the final decision to approve you.
Ask about Fostering today.
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