Steps to fostering
Get in touch with the Fostering Team via the Get in touch about fostering with us webpage.
We will give you a call to get to know you better and answer any questions you may have at this stage. You will also be invited to come along to one of our information sessions. This is where you can learn more about what’s involved and speak to some of our current foster carers about what fostering means to them.
A member of our Fostering Team will arrange to visit you at home to gather some information to help with your application and answer any questions you have. It is important that everyone living in the house comes to this visit so that everyone has the opportunity to ask questions. We can also make sure everyone is ready to take part in the fostering journey.
We’ll ask you to complete an application form while we carry out some statutory checks. We will also contact your references to help us get to know you better.
If we all agree that this is the right time for you to consider fostering, you’ll be invited to our ‘Skills to Foster’ preparation course. This is run by members of our Fostering Team and experienced foster carers and is a chance for you to meet other people interested in fostering. You can also learn more about what being a foster carer means for you and your wider family.
Your assessing social worker will visit you in your home over a number of weeks and together, you will look at the task of fostering in more detail. They will also look at your personal circumstances and qualities. This is an opportunity for us to get to know you and for you to get to know us. This is so that when you become a foster carer, your experience will be as good as it can be. Once the assessment is complete, you will read your social worker’s report and will be given the chance to comment on it.
Your report will be considered by Swindon’s Fostering Panel, which is an independent group made up of fostering professionals. If the Panel recommend that you are approved to foster, the Agency Decision Maker will then make the final decision.
The process of becoming a foster carer should take no more than six months from when we receive your application form.
If you decide that fostering isn’t for you, you can withdraw your application at any stage. There may also be a scenario where our social workers don’t feel that fostering is appropriate for you and your family. In this situation, we will be honest and will explain the reasons for our decision.