Steps to fostering
If you feel you could make a difference to a child or young person’s life by becoming a foster carer, please get in touch via the Register your interest in fostering webpage.
Once you have registered your interest, we will give you a call to get to know you better and answer any questions you may have at this stage.
A member of our Fostering Team will arrange to visit you at home and gather some information to help with the application. They will also answer any questions you may have. It is important that all members of the household are present at this initial home visit.
If we all agree that this is the right time for you to consider fostering, you will be invited to our ‘Skills to Foster’ preparation course. This is run by members of our Fostering Team and experienced foster carers.
This is a chance for you to meet other people interested in fostering and to learn more about what being a foster carer means for you and your wider family.
We will send you an application form to complete with your personal information and consent for us to carry out the checks and follow up references.
You will be assigned an assessing social worker who will visit you in your home over a number of weeks and speak to you and people living with you. Together, you will look at the task of fostering in more detail, as well as your personal circumstances and qualities. Once the assessment is complete, you will read and sign the social worker’s report.
Your report will be considered by Swindon’s Fostering Panel. If the Panel recommend that you are approved to foster, the Agency Decision Maker will then make the final decision. If the decision is that you can foster, you will then be registered as a foster carer for:
- A specific age range
- Number of children
- Type(s) of fostering
We will inform you of this decision about two weeks after the Panel meeting.
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 upfront and honest and will explain the reasons for our decision.