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A Guide to the Foster Carer Application Process

Have you been considering fostering for some time now but not sure how to go about applying?

We can assure you it is a lot easier than you probably think. We also understand it is a big decision and if you are ready to start the ball rolling, just know our expert fostering team are on hand to support you every step of the way.

“We felt very comfortable and relaxed throughout the application process, as did our friends and family who acted as character referees for us.” - Nicola, foster carer

Get in touch

This can be via our website, our Facebook page or by approaching one of our experienced advisers at a fostering information event. Either way, you can ask us as many questions as you like and we’ll do our best to answer them. You can also review our frequently asked questions page for more information. When you are ready to take the next step, you can book to meet with one of our fostering team on a 1 to 1 basis. To arrange a call back, simply fill out the book a visit form with your preferred time and location. We will ask for a few other personal details at this stage which will be used to do some initial background references (to basically check you are who you say you are) and set up a time for a fostering adviser to visit you for a face-to-face chat.

During this visit, you can ask as many questions as you like about fostering (it’s a big commitment after all and you want to be armed with all the facts).

You can be as frank as you like (in fact, it’s encouraged!). For your own peace of mind, we would rather you asked now than be curious or doubtful at a later stage. In fact, we can do as many visits as you like until you are happy.

Start your application

In order to start the application process, we will need to meet the rest of your immediate family (i.e. the people your looked after child would be living with) to make sure that they understand what fostering is and to answer any questions they have.

At this stage, you can also let us see the room for the child or young person being fostered.

Fill out an application form

We will give you this at the end of your home visit. It will ask for references from work, family and friends, and we’ll also use it to carry out medical and statutory checks, including the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check. If you’re confused with the process at any stage, then do feel free to call us for help.

Meet your social worker

You will be assigned your own personal social worker, who you will meet you regularly to get to know you better as well as your family and your extended support network. They will also help you complete any necessary paperwork required during the assessment stage.

Attend Skills To Foster training

As part of your application, we will invite you to the Skills To Foster training course. Here, you will be able to meet and ask questions to our existing foster carers. In other words, you will get the highs, lows and everything in between…

Attend a Fostering Panel

Prior to the Fostering Panel, your social worker will have written an assessment which details their recommendations about your application to be a foster family – with the opportunity for you to add feedback. This will be reviewed during this 30-minute meeting after, which you will find out if your application to be a foster carer is approved.

While this may seem a little daunting, don't worry, your social worker will be with you every step of the way.

Once you’re approved as a foster carer, you will receive a welcome pack and be allocated a supervising social worker. You will then begin your induction into our amazing network of Rotherham foster carers.

Learn more about fostering in Rotherham

If you have any questions about fostering in Rotherham, book a call back with a member of our experienced team at a time that suits you. All our call backs are confidential.


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