If you have Young People at Heart, contact us now

Call 07518 173083
Email hello@youngpeopleatheart.org
email hello@youngpeopleatheart.org or call us on 07518 173083

I’m interested in becoming a foster carer

I’m interested in becoming a foster carer

What is Fostering?

Fostering is where a child or young person comes to live with a foster family because they can’t live at home with their own family. Children and young people come into care for a wide variety of reasons and our aim is to provide them with care, security and emotional support in your home by supporting you every step of the way.

Becoming a foster carer

The first step to becoming a foster carer is to contact us. We embrace diversity and welcome enquiries from people of any ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation. We welcome single carers or couples, married or living together. There are a few requirements to be able to foster. These include:

  • You must be over 21 years of age
  • You must have at least one spare bedroom

When you contact us, we will arrange to visit you in your home and talk to you about how you become a foster carer with us. We call this the ‘initial visit’. The next steps will involve a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check, taking references and a medical check-up. Past convictions will show up on the DBS so it’s a good idea to discuss these at the initial visit if you have any. If all the checks prove satisfactory we will start the next stage of the assessment. The total process could take up to six months but we would hope to complete the assessment in three to four months.

Initial training:

During the assessment process potential foster carers attend a training course called ‘Skills to Foster’. This provides a good introduction into key areas and areas covered include managing difficult behaviour, the legislative framework, why young people come into care, the importance of working in partnership with birth parents and other professionals, awareness of child abuse and child protection issues, safe caring, diversity and record keeping. You will also receive accredited training in First Aid and Safeguarding.

The approval process

When your assessment is complete, your assessing social worker will present you and the assessment to our Independent Fostering Panel. We are fortunate to have a very experienced Panel Chair and she and her team will review the assessment and may ask you some questions. This may sound intimidating but we don’t present any potential foster carers to panel if we don’t think they or the assessment are ready. The Panel is an important part of our quality process and if they are happy the applicants are ready to foster, they will recommend you for approval as foster carers.

Support and supervision of foster carers:

Every foster carer approved by Young People at Heart will have a fully qualified Social Worker to support them. Foster carers will be visited at least once a month by their social worker, more frequently if required. The monthly visit is an opportunity for the foster carers and social workers to address any areas of concern or difficulty and is typically referred to as a Supervision Meeting. In addition, the foster carers will receive a telephone call weekly and may receive visits from other Young People at Heart staff, such as education or support workers. There will also be telephone support available from a Young People at Heart social worker 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. In addition to the regular visits, each foster care household will receive at least one unannounced visit per year and an annual Health and Safety Audit on the carer’s home.

You can contact us anytime by calling us on 07518 173083 or if you prefer, email us.

Foster Carer Training and Development:

Young People at Heart believes foster carers should continually develop their skills. Some training is mandatory, to comply with the Fostering Service Regulations and the Training, Support and Development (TSD) Standards for Foster Care. A number of different programs are offered annually, relevant to your development as foster carers or to equip you with skills for the young person in your care.