Becoming a foster carer

Becoming a foster carer doesn’t happen overnight. When you choose fostering with us, we’ll be here to help you through every step of the way.

The magic number for your assessment is 6: it takes 6 months for you to complete 6 steps to becoming a foster carer. It may feel like a long time but is important that you have a full understanding of what’s involved. Your assessment will help us do  to do this while teaching you about the demands and the rewards of fostering.

Step 1 : Get In Touch

You might be nervous about speaking with us for the first time, which is normal. Don’t worry, we would love to hear from you and answer your fostering questions.

The only silly question is the one you didn’t ask, so get in touch with our friendly team on 0800 923 2777 or fill in our simple enquiry form.

We’ll also send you an Information Pack with more detail about fostering.

Step 2 : Home Visit

Now you’ve had chance to take on board some information about fostering and what’s involved we’re sure you’ll have more questions. A member of the fostering team will visit you at your home for an in-depth chat. This will give you the opportunity to explore the options available to find out if it’s right for you and your family.

Step 3 : Assessment

The assessment helps us find out about you as a potential foster carer. It involves one of our social workers visiting you several times to find out about the qualities and experience you have.

During visits we will discuss a range of subjects about you and your family. We will also discuss caring for looked after children and young people.

The assessment is comprehensive. It is important for you and the children you may look after, that every aspect of being a foster carer is covered.

Once the assessment is complete your social worker will write a detailed report, outlining your skills and strengths. You will be able to see the report and have a chance to add your own comments.

Step 4 : The Skills to Foster Preparation Group

At the same time as your assessment you will attend a three day preparation training course. This will give you an understanding of fostering in Sefton. The Skills to Foster preparation group helps you to understand why children come into care, as well as your role and responsibilities as a foster carer. During the group you’ll have a chance to meet some approved foster carers to hear first hand what it’s really like. This training is key to your fostering assessment.

Step 5 : The Fostering Panel

The fostering panel is a group of professionals drawn together from a variety of backgrounds to advise the Council on the suitability of people who apply to become foster carers. Your report will be presented to the Fostering Panel and you will be invited and encouraged to attend.

This may seem daunting, but don’t worry, if we take you to panel we will be confident that you will be approved.

Step 6 : Approval and Placement

Once you’re approved, you’ll receive information about training opportunities and meet your supervising social worker. Your social worker will work with you to find a suitable match and support you in your role as a foster carer.

Watch Sinead and Leanne’s video below to find out more.