The fostering assessment process is something which every potential foster carer will need to undergo before they can become an approved foster carer. Below, we’ve listed the steps involved.
You contact us via telephone – 0208 106 6800, our web form or by emailing us on firstname.lastname@example.org
We’ll take some basic details from you and have an initial chat about you, your background and how fostering could work for you. We will also answer any questions or queries you may have.
Once we’ve received your initial details, a Lotus team member will visit you or meet you virtually on a date and time that suits you. They will help you understand fostering, answer any questions and speak about how fostering could work for you.
After the visit, the team member will write a short summary, Lotus will then contact you to let you know whether or not they are recommending you progress. If they’re not recommending that you progress, they will explain why.
Once your application is submitted, this will be reviewed and if accepted your fostering assessment will begin
Stage 1 is the checks and references. On the Application Form we ask you to provide the details of a number of personal and professional referees (if relevant). We’ll contact them for references. We’ll speak with your own children if you have any and any significant ex-partners you may have. We also ask you to have a medical with your own GP, who will let us know if they feel you are ‘fit to foster’, and will inform us of anything that may need to be explored further. We’ll also undertake DBS checks.
Stage 2 is the written assessment. We want to know all about you! The assessing social worker will visit you over a period of time. They will discuss with you all about you, your views on caring/ parenting, how you were parented yourselves, your life experiences and how that may have helped shaped the person you are today.
This will help us to build a really in-depth picture of you and what you could offer. Again, there are no right or wrong answers, and there’s certainly no such thing as the ‘perfect’ foster carer. Life experience counts a lot, we just need to see that you would be able to put children’s needs first, treat each child as an individual and are able to be reflective, learn and develop your skills.
When the assessment is complete, the report will be presented to an independent panel of professionals who will make a recommendation based on your suitability to foster. This recommendation will then be reviewed and considered by Lotus to make a final decision.
Congratulations! Welcome to the Lotus family. Your social worker will come out and visit you to do your induction visit. Here, they will welcome you to the service and give you access to all the documents you will need to get you started.
You will now await your first child(ren) coming to stay with you. You will likely get a telephone call within a few days/ weeks from the team, who will discuss a child or children. This is sometimes known as the referral.
The referral contains all the information Lotus have received about the child(ren), including the reasons they have come into care, what the future plan may be, the contact arrangements that will be in place, where they go to nursery/ school/ college etc, their likes and dislikes, and any other information that will help you to make the decision about whether or not you could provide care for them. In some instances, we may need a decision from you fairly quickly, in others, you may have a bit longer to consider things.
If you decide that you can provide the care for the child(ren), the team will make the arrangements for them coming to you. They will also discuss the equipment you may need, for example if the child is a baby, relevant equipment will be required.
You will undoubtedly eagerly await their arrival, and may well be very nervous. Don’t worry! All foster carers were new at one time, and even the most experienced still learn with every new child or young person that comes through their front door. You won’t get everything right all the time, but your life experiences, training and nurturing instinct will certainly help you to provide exceptional, safe, consistent care for a child(ren) when they need it. Most importantly you will help them to make sense of their situation, reassure them and involve them in your day-to-day activities. Lotus Foster Care will be there every step of the way.
Please email email@example.com or call 020 8106 6800