How to become a foster carer
How to become a foster carer
It usually takes between 4 to 6 months to become a foster carer with us. Every assessment will be slightly different -because every family is different. We can guide you though as all assessments will follow a similar course. At Ikon, we will support you through all stages from initial enquiry right through to your approval
More on the process...
The first step on your foster carer journey will be to make an enquiry –talk to us at Ikon about fostering.
Drop us a message online via our enquiry form or give us a call on 07928666121 or 01922 618790. We can have a conversation then -or-we can call you back at a time that suits you. One of our team will go over the process with you and you will be able to ask any questions that have.
If you are ready to start your application we can arrange an initial home visit.
A member of the recruitment team at Ikon will visit to discuss fostering with you further. They will assemble some background information about you & your family. They will also check that you have the right size bedroom in your home and discuss other health & safety related issues. If the visit is positive, an application form can be completed after the home visit or it can be done later and sent to us via email or post. At this stage it is vital that you are open and honest with us (as we will be with you). If we get further into an assessment and it becomes clear that you have had a criminal record or social services involvement that you did not tell us, this will have a major impact on the process. It could even stop the fostering assessment completely.
Our aim is for you to come away from this visit feeling that you better understand fostering.
Once the application is completed and you have given your consent for checks to begin and your application is accepted, a full and formal assessment will begin.
– we are here to guide you through it all so dont worry if it seems daunting!
Checks we will complete
A medical will need to be completed from your GP. We will pay for this to be done. This isn’t a comprehensive health assessment -it’s a simple check to make sure applicants are able to provide the right level of care to children. Full medical histories is not shared. Your GP will just provide us a with recommendation.
Further checks will involve a Police check and Local authority checks.
Sessions with an Independent Assessor
The assessment (officially called the “Form F”) is completed by an assessing social worker. This is the lengthier part of the process. Your asessor will visit you 6-12 times on average, to complete a report on you and your capacity to foster. It outlines the basis of your suitability to be a foster carer with Ikon Fostering detailing your skills & experiences.
The assessor will chat with you about your finances. This is brief discussion around ingoings and out goings – This helps us ensure stability for a foster child. This part of the assessment is a good opportunity for you to find more out about the role of a foster carer. This is just as important for us getting to know more about you and your family.
The assessor will get to know you very well. They will be able to make a recommendation if they think you will make a good foster carer.
All prospective Foster Carers are provided with three days of SKILLS TO FOSTER training, prior to assessment. This program covers every aspect of the role of a Foster Carer, and is designed to equip individuals with the knowledge and skills to assist them in their role as Foster Carers. This is our most well established and highly acclaimed training package that has over the years inspired and produced some of our most highly skilled foster carers to date.
The course also gives you a chance to meet other applicants and maybe some other foster carers, who will share their expertise. The course is fun and informative. It offers real insight into what fostering is all about.
Following completion of your training and fostering assessment the report will be passed over to an Independent Fostering Panel for recommendations to be made. You will be asked to attend the Panel with your assessor. The purpose of the panel is so that they can have an overview of all the information that has been collected. You will be asked questions during the panel. Your assessor will have worked with you beforehand to give you an idea of what to expect and to prepare you.
Once the panel agrees a recommendation, it will then be passed to the Agency Decision Maker (ADM). The ADM ensures that children are safeguarded and will appropriately challenge the agency and Panel when making a final decision. You will be informed after the panel if you are recommended by the panel.
Ikon will continue to support you through your fostering journey.
We will have got to know you very well by now. Ikon’s placements team will carefully match you with your first placement. They may even come out to meet you in order to gain a closer understanding of you as Ikon carers.
Our team will continue to support you. They will see you regularly and be a source of professional guidance. There is a 24/7 emergency helpline available.
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…