Once you have made the life-changing decision to become a foster parent, there are specific steps that need to be followed in order to start the process:
1. Finding A Fostering Agency
You will need to find a fostering agency office in your area and get in contact with them to express your interest in becoming a foster parent. You will have to complete a form or questionnaire in order to make your expression official. An assessment manager or team manager will then evaluate the information you have provided and give their approval to enter the next step in the process.
2. The Home Visit
A social worker will visit your home to determine whether it meets with the necessary standards and requirements for fostering a child. An appointment will be scheduled for the home visit and it will help determine the type of home you have and therefore what type of fostering situation will best suit you. If the social worker is satisfied with the expected living conditions of a future foster child, they will provide you with a registration form that you will need to complete.
3. Background Checks
Fostering agencies do perform background checks including:
– Disclosure and Barring Service Check for each person living in the home who is over the age of 17 years.
– Health checks to ensure that there are no health issues that could preclude you from fostering a child in Manchester.
– They will also check the references that you provided along with your registration form.
If there are any issues with the background check, you will not move forward in the process.
This is a more personal evaluation of your skills and character that will support your ability to care for a foster child. A social worker may look into your upbringing as well as your existing family and friends and how they provide you with a support network. You will also be asked to provide details of your current and past employment as well as education. A background caring or interacting for children can be helpful during the assessment phase. This phase can last throughout the training that is provided and is there to evaluate what skills need to be developed and the type of foster arrangement that will be most suitable for you.
This is the last stage of the fostering process and can last between 4 and 6 weeks. The training will teach you about your responsibilities, what is expected of you and the skills needed to care for a foster child. There are very few cases where training is not mandatory for fostering a child through an agency in Manchester. However, if you have received training before and have been an active part of the fostering system, a fostering agency may forego the training.
While becoming a foster parent is a process, it is far less complicated than most people assume. Once you have completed the training, a suitable fostering arrangement will be made for you.