Strapline - 'Quality fostering and residential care'

Croham Services for Children - quality fostering and residential care

10 steps to becoming a foster carer

So now you know what becoming a foster carer entails, it's up to you to decide whether to step forward.

  1. This is the only step that you must take alone. But once you have, you'll find support throughout the rest of the application process and beyond. That first step is to call us. We'll answer your queries and immediately send you more information.
  2. We will arrange to visit you at home. We call this a screening visit, to take a view on your potential to foster and make sure your home is suitable. The visit will also give you the opportunity to meet an SfC Social Worker and ask any questions you or your family may have about fostering.
  3. If you are still interested you will be invited to attend our 'Skills to Foster' training course.
  4. You can then confirm your intention to foster by completing an application form.
  5. You will meet your Social Worker who will carry out an assessment on both you and your household.
  6. We call this assessment a 'Form F'. It is very detailed and includes talking to all family members about life experiences. There are also a number of background checks we need to undertake on you and your household which include medicals, personal references, local authority and Disclosure and Barring Service (formerly the Criminal Records Bureau) checks.
  7. Your Social Worker writes up your Form F. You will have the chance to see it and comment on it. The final Form F report, including the results of background checks, is submitted to the Fostering Panel. The Fostering Panel is independent and their role is to consider your suitability to foster. They will read your Form F and prepare questions. 
  8. You and your Social Worker will attend the Fostering Panel meeting and discuss your application to foster with the Panel. The Panel will then make a recommendation whether or not to approve you to become a foster carer. Sometimes they see the potential but think there is more work to be done. If so, you and your Social Worker will discuss the best way to do this. 
  9. Once you are approved you're now ready to foster. The next step is the most exciting one, the placement of your first child (or children).
  10. This is less a step and more an on-going journey. You will enjoy regular support, supervision and encouragement from your Social Worker and the rest of the fostering team.