Application Process

If you’re interested in becoming a foster parent, please contact us to look at finding out more about each other and seeing where we might go.

First we’ll have a friendly conversation to see what we’ve got in common, then set up an initial visit where one of our social workers will come and meet you. Here’s where you can ask plenty of questions, discuss what it means to be a foster carer and help decide if it’s right for you. One of the things they’ll help you consider is how being a foster carer may impact on your own kids and what age of children you would best be suited to.

Don’t worry, you’ll get to know everything about becoming a foster carer and whether you’ll be good to work with the children we’re working with. And then, the next stage is to apply to be a carer with us.

The Application Stages

Initial contact
Home Visit
Application Form/Statutory Checks
Independent Assessment
Annual review

You have probably been thinking of fostering for some time. You will have lots of questions for which you need answers so you can make an informed choice on whether fostering is right for you and you are right for fostering.

Either fill in the enquiry form or have a casual chat with one of our team. We are social workers not salesmen, so you will not be pushed into any rash decision regarding any potential career change to foster.

However, we do require a real commitment by applicants before starting the formal application process, once you have explored your choice to foster.

Following your phone discussion with one of our team, a home visit will be arranged at your convenience. This will allow you to explore any issues you still might have and allow us to give you more information to make an informed choice. An application form will be left with you to complete and return to us, if you wish to do so.
Once your completed application form has been received statutory checks occur. Statutory checks are background checks which form part of the assessment.

They include Criminal Record Bureau , Social Services, Education (for applicants with own children) and medical records. As you will expect, Fairways Foster Care have a duty to protect children therefore it is vital you are open and honest from the outset and during the application process.

If you have been convicted of certain offences including violence or crimes against children you will not be able to foster. However, other minor offences may not affect your application. You will need to disclose any convictions during the assessment process.

If you do not disclose something which subsequently comes to light, your assessment with Fairways Foster Care may be closed and you may be unable to proceed any further.

An experienced Assessing Social Worker will contact you to start the assessment process. This will take between 3-5 months usually, and will include several home visits with all members of your household to evaluate your skills, experience, attitudes and determine your suitability.

Personal and employment references will also be obtained, a Home Risk Assessment carried out and Medical checks to ensure you are reasonably fit and healthy. Your assessing Social Worker will guide you through the process and will ask you to contribute towards your portfolio.

There is a need for all applicants to divulge personal details and information, as will other members of the household/family/friends who may have contact with any placed child. Although sometimes this can seem intrusive, it is a necessary and important aspect of the assessment process and will be dealt with sensitively and objectively. It is important to be open and honest with your assessor from the outset. If any safeguarding issues were to arise during the assessment process, these will be fully discussed with you for clarification.

The whole process is one of mutual trust, stringent checks and open/honest communication between all parties. Do not worry, it is not as scary as it seems, and you can ask our approved carers about it when you meet with them.

You will have to attend our 2 day Skills to Foster course (weekend). This course covers areas such as; How will fostering affect my family; What types of experiences may have these children/young people had; Working with other professionals; Safe caring; How carers help a child to cope with change; Contact with birth family to name but a few topics covered.

It also gives you the opportunity to meet other prospective carers, some of our experienced carers, young people we have successfully fostered and members of Fairways Foster Care team. As you continue your preparation to foster, you will have the opportunity to attend a number of workshops to enhance your understanding and skills.

A successful outcome at panel will result in you being approved and appointed as a foster carer and a Supervising Social Worker will be identified for you. When a child is referred to Fairways Foster Care that may match your skills we will discuss whether or not you can offer a placement.
We adopt a clear communication approach at all times, and during any part of this process if it is deemed that your application is unsuccessful, we will inform you promptly and clearly of our decisions.

If appointed, you will be contacted by your supervising social worker when a child/young person is referred for fostering, if we feel that you could best meet their needs. You will then, after consultation, decide whether to offer a placement.

Assessment of foster carers is a continual process and an annual review takes place to formalise renewal of approval. You will have had more confidence, experience and training towards demonstrating your growing knowledge and expertise by this time. There will be no big surprises as your Social Worker will have worked with you to resolve any issues.

Fostering Application Form

Become A Foster Carer

To get started please fill in and return the below application form or make a fostering enquiry on our contact page