How to become a foster carer
Become a foster carer
Ikon, Fostering will support you each step of the way through your application to becoming a foster carer. We are experienced and dedicated to supporting your fostering journey throughout.
Find out more below…
How to become a foster carer
If becoming a foster carer is something you are thinking about then we are here to help. Caring foster carers make a real difference to the lives of children and young people. The whole process is rewarding and enriching fir carers and their families too.
Making sure you have all the right information...
Here is the application process.
The next step to becoming a foster carer is for you to get in touch and talk to us at Ikon about fostering.
All you need to do is drop us a message online via our enquiry form or give us a call on 07928666121 or 01922 618790. We can send you an information pack but if you are ready to chat more we can even call you back at a time that suits you. One of our team will go over the process with you, giving you the opportunity to ask any questions you have, for example about fostering allowances or free training.
If at this point you are ready to start your application we cna arrange an initial home visit.
When you are ready we will arrange to meet with you and your family for an initial visit at your home.
This Initial Home Visit is there to get to know you better and so you can get to know us better too. During this visit an experienced member of the team will discuss your expectations and share in-depth information about being a foster carer and what it involves. They will also discuss with you the various circumstances that lead a child or young person into foster care.
Ask as many questions as you want
The indoor and outdoor spaces of your home will be assessed in terms of how a child could benefit from living there. Through this process information will be gathered about you and your immediate family and give you the opportunity to ask as many questions as you need.
Our aim is for you to come away form this meeting feeling that you understand fostering more fully and what it will mean to you and your family and friends
Next is to complete a foster carer application form which will give us the authority to start the assessment process.
We need to be thorough due to the nature of the foster care role you’ll be undertaking.
Don’t let the paperwork put you off – we are here to guide you through the process.
Checks that we complete
All applicants require a medical check at their local GP, all costs of this are covered by Ikon. If you have submitted a joint application, both parties must complete a medical. This is not an in-depth health check, it is simply to ensure the applicant or applicants are fit and able to look after children. Your full medical history will not be given to us, your GP will simply give us recommendations and let us know of any barriers that may affect you becoming a foster carer.
Other checks include a DBS and Local authority checks.
Sessions with an Independent Assessor
This assessment is officially called a Form F. It is completed by your assessing social worker. It outlines the basis of your suitability to be a foster carer with Ikon Fostering, and details all your skills and experiences.
We work alongside you to document the reasons why your home would be a positive environment for children and young people to live in, and why you would make a great foster parent.
During the assessment stage your assessing social worker will make regular planned visits over a period of eight to ten weeks to both share and gather information.
The assessor will also need to go through your finances with you. This isn’t a credit check- it is more of an overview of your current financial situation, for example making sure your mortgage or rental payments are up to date. This is to guarantee stability for the child or children you may take care of.This stage of the assessment is a great opportunity for you to learn more about the role of a foster carer. This is just as important for us getting to know more about you and your family members, who will play a pivotal role in a foster child or young person’s care.
The assessor will get to know you and your family very well. They will be able to make a recommendation into whether they think you will make a good foster carer.
We provide you with many training opportunities when you become a foster carer with Ikon. This training is provided free of charge and is delivered at a location near you or online.
Your mandatory three-day ‘Skills to Foster’ training course is held at our office in Walsall. It equips you with essential skills required to care for a vulnerable child or young person.
The course also provides you with an opportunity to meet other applicants and possibly some other foster carers, who can share their expertise. The course is fun, informative and offers real insight into what lies ahead.
Skills to Foster curriculum
The training course consists of modules covering everything you need to know to prepare for life as a foster carer and a detailed understanding of what is required:
- What do foster carers do?
- Working with others
- Understanding children in foster care
- Safer caring
- My family fosters
- Attachment styles
- Therapeutic parenting
- Expectations of being a foster carer
There will be plenty of opportunities in the future for you to take other courses, including in more specialised topics, like supporting young people with Autism and Asperger’s or parent and child fostering. You could ask more about these during your Initial Home Visit by Ikon.
Once your assessment and Skills to Foster training are complete, your Form F report and background checks are given to a group of fostering, educational and care professionals, known as a Fostering Panel.
Panel meetings take place at your local fostering office or a venue close by. You are invited to attend and your assessing social worker will be at your side to offer support throughout.
What happens at your Fostering Panel meeting?
The purpose of the panel is so they can carry out one final check of all the information that has been gathered throughout the assessment process.
You will probably be asked questions during the panel process. Your assessing social worker will have worked with you in advance to help prepare you. The panel will then consider your assessment and make their recommendation.
Once the panel agrees with your local agency’s recommendation to approve your foster carer application, it will then be passed to the Agency Decision Maker (ADM). The ADM’s role is to ensure children are safeguarded correctly and will appropriately challenge the agency and Panel when making a final decision. You will be informed at the panel whether you are being recommended as approved to the ADM.
Ikon will will continue to support you throughout your fostering adventure.
By now, we’ve got to know each other quite well. Our dedicated placements team will use the information you’ve provided to match you with your first placement – and your foster carer journey will begin.
Ongoing foster carer support
Even after you have been approved to become a foster carer with us and are caring for your first child or young person, our team will continue to support you. They will visit regularly and remain a constant source of professional guidance and advice as and when you need it. This includes the provision of a 24/7 emergency helpline
Start your fostering journey with Ikon Fostering
Dedicated and Supportive
We place young people and children with foster carers across the UK, including: Walsall, Dudley, Wolverhampton, Bilston, Aldridge, Lichfield, Tamworth, Telford, Birmingham, Coventry, Stafford, Warwick, Worcester, Brierley Hill, Stourbridge, the West Midlands, Staffordshire, Shropshire, surrounding areas and many other parts of the UK.
To find out more get in touch…