Becoming a Foster Carer
If you would like to find out more about becoming a foster carer for the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead here is what to do:
- Express your interest
Phone, e-mail or write to the family placement team and express your interest. The duty worker will be able to answer any questions you have and will ask a little about yourself. The duty worker will then send out an information pack to you.
- Receive an Information Pack
The information pack will give you more detailed information for you to read in your own time about the different kinds of fostering.
- Home visit
If after this you think fostering may be something you wish to pursue, a social worker will visit your home to discuss things further with you.
- Stage one of the Fostering Assessment
If both you and the social worker feel fostering could be right for you, you may now register your interest to become a foster carer and begin stage one of the fostering assessment. During this stage we will carry out an enhanced police check (DBS), local authority and employer checks, write to friends and family for references, and ask you to undertake a full medical check up.
- Preparation group
During stage one of the fostering assessment applicants are required to attend a fostering preparation group. This is normally a three day course which takes place on Saturdays or in the evenings. You will find out about the needs of the children, the legal aspects of being a foster carer and how fostering might affect your life. It will also give you a chance to meet other prospective carers.
- Stage two of the Fostering Assessment
You will be allocated a social worker from the team and they will visit you at home in order to complete the assessment. The process normally lasts between three and five months. It will look at your background and your understanding of children. It will also allow you to decide with your social worker what you want to offer, such as your preferred age range and whether you want to offer short term or long term foster placements for children.
- Assessment Report
The social worker will produce a report of the assessment. You will be able to contribute to this and see the final report.
- Fostering Panel
The report will be submitted to the Fostering Panel who will make a recommendation about your approval as a foster carer. The panel is made up of professionals from social work, health and education, as well as independent members with a range of experience from various different backgrounds. You will be invited to attend the panel meeting with your assessing social worker, and the panel will let you know its recommendation at the end of the meeting.
The panel’s recommendation will be passed to the Agency Decision Maker, to make the final decision about your approval as a foster carer, and you will receive a letter confirming the decision.