The Approval Process
All Foster Carers have to be approved by an Ofsted registered agency or local authority. The process of assessment is different for new and existing Foster Carers. At Unity Foster carer we use the BAAF Form F assessment process for new Foster Carers. For existing carers the regulations allow for a simpler process which recognises your current approval and previous assessment. This makes transferring your approval a lot easier and quicker.
As a new carers we will undertake a home visit to check your home is suitable for fostering and that you have a spare room. We will also take up references and a range of background checks to ensure you are fit and safe to work with young people. If you are unsure whether anything in your background may prevent you from becoming a Foster Carer we would welcome a chat with you, as our carers have a huge variety of background and past experience. Some have minor criminal records.
New carers will be put on on the Skills to Foster Course which will help teach you about fostering and some of the skills you may need to undertake the fostering task. Existing carers do not have to undertake Skills to Foster if they have already undertaken the course.
If you, and we, still want to proceed at this stage the formal assessment will begin using the Form F format from BAAF. Once this has been completed you will be presented to our Fostering Panel who will make a recommendation on your approval. The final step in the process is the Agency Decision Maker will make a final decision on whether to approve you and they will take into consideration all the information which formed your assessment and also the recommendations of the Fostering Panel.
For new carers the process will take approximately 4-5 months, but can be a lot quicker depending on your availability. For existing carers the process if far quicker.
Most Foster Carers find the assessment process enjoyable and frequently educational and even cathartic, depending on their own life experiences.
Applications will be considered regardless of marital status, sexuality, age (minimum 25 years of age), ethnicity, culture, religion, income or home ownership.
If you think foster care is right for you then please enquire here or call 0333 77 22 333 today to start the process.