You may well have wondered, what does it really mean to go through the foster carer application process? This guide is here to provide the answers. There will be a lot of information to take on board and an equal amount of questions to answer, so it is important to be well prepared before you start. Here is some useful information to get you going.
There Will Be Questions
Questions are the most direct way to get a specific piece of information, and your chosen agency will need a great deal of insight into both your background and present circumstances. So, it stands to reason that you can expect a lot of questions. It is in your best interests, and theirs, to try and answer these as truthfully as possible with the necessary amount of detail.
A Great Deal of Information
A key part of the onboarding process is learning about the role and all it entails. There will be discussions about foster care pay, which is essential knowledge to take on board because it will dictate important financial decisions. There will also be a chat about expectations, safeguarding, and typical scenarios you may encounter along the way. You will be required to focus a certain amount of energy on absorbing this information and keeping it locked up tight for when you need it.
Every carer has to undertake a set amount of mandatory training. This is a non-negotiable part of becoming a registered foster carer, and it will continue for the entire time that you look after foster children. All of these training sessions are relevant and will deliver core skills that enhance both your ability to care for children and be a safe carer.
Getting to Know People
Another element of this process will lead you to meet a lot of different people. There will be carers in your local network, social working teams, and even young people in care to meet and get to know. Any new carer must establish positive professional relationships with both the wider care team and their community of carers in order to thrive in this role.
Your agency will try to visit your home a few times before you become fully qualified and a child moves in. This is so that they are able to fully assess how suitable your housing is for a young person, and most importantly of all, so they can meet the other people that live with you.
This will include your fellow fostering partner who will already be a part of the process and any children who are a part of your home already. They will talk to your children to get a sense of how they are processing the recent developments and make it clear that they can help with any worries or concerns as things move forward.
The foster carer application process is long, but filled with exciting information that will enhance your capacity to look after children. You will finish up by going to panel where your status as a carer will either be approved or denied.