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What to expect from an initial visit with a social worker to discuss becoming a foster carer.

The first step to becoming a foster carer with our independent fostering agency is getting in contact with our team. You can either phone Focus Foster Care on 0800 524 4797 or email admin@focusfostercare.com . Following a conversation with a member of our team, if you continue to be interested in fostering, the next step would be for an initial visit at your home to take place. If you would like to be prepared for what is to come during this very early yet important stage of your fostering journey, we have answered some frequently asked questions about the first visit with a social worker in this post. Big life changes and decisions are often accompanied with some anxiety, we hope this post puts your mind at rest and helps you to feel prepared to confidently take your first step into life as a foster carer.

What to expect from an initial visit with a social worker to discuss becoming a foster carer.


Frequently Asked Questions.

Where will an initial visit to discuss fostering take place?
Your first meeting with a member of our team will take place in your home. It is important for us to see your spare room and the home where the children you could potentially foster will be living.

Who will I meet at the initial visit?
One of our social workers will come to your home for this first meeting. You can get to know all the member of our team by reading our Meet The Team blog posts. We are a small team and if you become an approved foster carer with our agency you will get to know us all.

Can my own children be present at the meeting?
It is entirely up to you if you would like your children to be present during the meeting. It is not necessary for us to meet them at this early stage but if you would like them to sit in during the conversation with our social worker then that is up to you.

What is the purpose of this meeting?
The purpose of this first meeting is to give you an opportunity to have a friendly, informal face to face discussion with a social worker about the role of fostering and what it involves. We want you to have the opportunity to ask any questions you might have.

This meeting is also an opportunity for us to gather some more background information from you, to view your spare bedroom and to discuss any other Health & Safety related issues that are apparent.

Our intention is to leave you with an understanding of what fostering is all about so that you can make an informed decision about whether proceeding to an application to foster is right for you and your family.

What topics can I expect to be discussed during this initial visit?
This first meeting is an informal discussion but many different things will be covered. Some of the topics we will cover include:
– Household composition and details of any children (including adult children)
– Current and past employment
– Your motivation to foster
– Transferrable skills and relevant life experience.
– Your health
– Your support network
– Your lifestyle
– Accommodation
– Any criminal convictions

What questions should I ask during this first meeting?
This meeting is an opportunity for you to ask any questions you have about fostering and our independent fostering agency. You can ask any questions that are important to you. Frequently asked questions include what support can I expect to receive from Focus Foster Care and what are the training requirements for new foster carers?

What is the next stage following the initial home visit?
After your meeting with one of our social workers you will then decide whether you want to apply to foster with Focus Foster Care. We will have indicated based on the information gathered during our visit and having been able to see your home environment, if we would be in a position to accept your application.

How long will it be between the first home visit and having a child placed in my home?
If your application is accepted, we progress to stage 1 of the assessment process where we complete mandatory checks with your consent. These include an enhanced DBS check, a health assessment, employer references and personal references. Depending on the outcome, a decision is made about progressing to stage 2 of the assessment which involves a number of home visit/study appointments with an assessing social worker. On average it takes 6 months for a full assessment to be completed and presented to our Fostering Panel.

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If you are interested in joining our team of foster carers, please contact us on 0800 524 4797 .

fostering

To find out more about fostering and how to become a foster carer with our independent fostering agency, please read the following pages on our website:
Types of foster care.
Who can foster?
How to become a foster carer with Focus Foster Care.
Fostering – frequently asked questions.
The benefits of fostering with Focus Foster Care.