Welcome to The Foster Care Agency! Give us a call on 0808 178 8909 or register your interest here

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Fostering with The Foster Care Agency

Fostering is ‘a marathon not a sprint’. We will be looking after you to make sure you can look after those that need your care.

TFCA invites everybody that has thought about fostering to make contact. We welcome applications from all ethnic, cultural and religious backgrounds. We are welcoming and able to offer all the information you need and to help you to make a decision on whether fostering is right for you and your family.

You can contact us via phone, email, website or come and meet us at an event.

The first person you will hear from is our Carer Recruitment Officer who will contact you by telephone to go through the fostering process with you and answer any general questions that you may have. During this conversation they will ask you a series of questions to obtain general information about you before it is decided whether an initial visit should take place.

At the end of the call you will be sent out an information pack which will include further information about fostering, if you wish to receive one.

The next stage will be to arrange an ‘initial visit’.

The Initial Visit

An initial visit is when a qualified Social Worker comes to visit you and your family in your home. They will speak to you more in depth about the fostering process and will answer any further questions that you may have.

They will also look at your home, including the spare bedrooms that you have available for fostering.

After the visit, the Social Worker will make a recommendation whether to proceed to the fostering assessment and the reasons for the decision will be shared with you. You will be sent an application form, which you will need to send back to us before your application moves to assessment.

There are standard checks that all carers need to undergo. With your consent we make checks on you and your family with the Criminal Records Bureau, Local Authorities and other agencies. We also pay for you to have a full medical check-up with your GP.

Your Fostering Assessment (Form F)

Once we have received your application form back, we will be able to allocate your assessment to an assessor (who is a qualified Social Worker). Your assessor will work closely with you and your family throughout the assessment process.

Your assessor will arrange to visit you in your home on a number of occasions in order to complete your Form F (your ‘Fostering Form’). Your assessor will speak with you about your background, your current and previous relationships, the children in your household, the details of your family life (this will include speaking about your childhood), your experience of caring for others and any other experience you may have working with children and young people, your support network and an overview of your financial situation.

It is very important that you tell us about any issues that may have an impact on caring for children and this includes every member of your household. You must disclose any criminal or driving convictions or cautions, health problems including depression and mental ill health and any previous contact with social services.

We need to know about all of these issues however long ago they occurred. Most matters discussed early can be addressed and need not be a barrier to fostering.

This is a very detailed process and, on average, takes between three to four months to complete. Most foster carers have found the assessment process to be a really positive experience.

We will request to see the originals of three identity documents: your passport, driver’s license, and birth certificate, for example. If you do not have one or more of these documents we will tell you about other documents we must see.

We will need to conduct a series of checks which include social media checks, local authority checks, enhanced DBS check, references from your employer, reference from either your mortgage company or your landlord or housing association as well as overseas checks if necessary.

At this stage, we will also ask you to go to your doctors to have a full medical and we will do a risk assessment on your home.

As part of your assessment you will be offered a 3 day ‘Skills to Foster’ training course which we will provide you details with.

Towards the end of your assessment you, alongside your assessor, will start working on two important documents that will be shared with the local authority: your profile (which will include a short summary of your skills, strengths and availability to foster) and your welcome pack (this will include information about you and your family and will include a photo. This is to make a child or young person feel at ease before arriving at your home).

Panel

Once the Form F is completed you and your assessor will read through it and discuss if there are any changes that you would both like to make (if there are any). This information will then be presented at an independent fostering panel which both you and your assessor will attend.

Once You Are Approved

Once you have been approved to foster at panel, your Supervising Social Worker will visit you to go through your welcome pack and ask you to sign the relevant paperwork.

Behind the scenes, the placements team will start to match your profile alongside the children who come into care. Before putting you forward as a foster carer for any children or young people we will always call you to discuss things in detail.

Once you have a child or young person in placement you will receive a generous fostering allowance. 
As a foster carer you will receive a generous tax free allowance (subject to status) per week for every young person placed with you, plus other benefits. The fostering allowance is provided to cover living costs and the fostering fee offers a reward element in recognition of the demands of the fostering role.
If you are currently approved as a foster carer with either a different fostering agency or the Local Authority, we will treat your enquiry with the highest level of confidentiality.

At The Foster Care Agency you will have a dedicated team that will be able to support you every step of the way with the transfer process. We recognise and value our carers expertise and are committed to promote them. We will handle the transfer by working together with your current provider, to ensure an efficient and smooth transition.

Talk to us to find out more

If you have any further questions about fostering, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Give us a call on 0808 1788909 or use the contact form to request a call back.