Choosing to foster is a big decision, but it is also one of the most rewarding jobs you can do. We are here to support you every step of the way.

On average, the application process can take around six months from your first enquiry. This can seem like a long time, but we need to make sure you are suitable, and prepare you and your family as best as possible, to welcome a foster child or young person into your home.

Step 1 – get in touch

The first thing you need to do is speak with a member of our team.

This is your opportunity to have an initial discussion about fostering, the application process and ask any questions you may have.

We will use this opportunity to find out a little about you and your motivation to foster.

If you are interested in fostering with us, fill in our online enquiry form or call us on 01454 866423 (our phone lines are open from Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm).

Step 2 – initial visit

If you are keen to proceed, we will arrange to visit you at your home to talk in more detail about your current circumstances, your motivations to foster, as well as your understanding of fostering and the needs of our children and young people in care.

Step 3 – the application form

If both you and the fostering service decide to continue with the process, you will be asked to complete an official application form and you will be invited to attend our pre-approval training.

Step 4 – pre-approval training

We do not expect you to know everything about fostering straight away. You will be invited to attend our ‘Skills to Foster’ preparation course to provide you with the practical, day-to-day skills that all foster carers need.

Step 5 – assessment

Once you have completed the pre-approval training. You will be assigned a social worker to begin a detailed assessment to establish whether you are suitable, and for which type of fostering.

Step 6 – fostering panel

You will attend the fostering panel with your assessing social worker.

The panel will make a recommendation about your suitability to foster based on your assessment, all the evidence provided and their discussions with you and your assessing social worker.

Step 7 – fostering service’s decision

Although the panel’s recommendation is crucial, the final decision about whether you are approved to foster lies with our decision maker for the fostering service.

Step 8 – induction

After you have been approved you will be introduced to your supervising social worker who will provide you with an induction that introduces you to how fostering works in South Gloucestershire.

Step 9 – matching

As soon as you are ready and have had a sufficient induction, your supervising social worker will begin the process of matching you with the right child or young person.

Your social worker will continue to support you through every step of your fostering journey.

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