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How long does it take to become a foster carer?

How long does the fostering process take?

On average, becoming a foster carer takes three to six months. This is a general estimate of the time it takes – the length of time is based on the assessment process and how long it will take to become approved as a foster carer. So, what is included in the fostering process?

What is the fostering process?

  • Initial Discussion: The first step is calling Capstone Foster Care for an initial discussion with one of our recruitment coordinators. There is no pressure to make a decision during this discussion. It is considered to be an informational conversation that allows you to learn enough about foster caring to know if fostering is the right career for you. If you ask yourself, ‘can I still foster?’ because you are concerned about your age or your working history or your education, this is the time to talk to the coordinator about your concerns to find out more about fostering requirements.
  • Home visit: If you are interested in becoming a foster carer, a member of Capstone’s staff will arrange a visit to your home. During this visit, you have a chance to learn more about fostering and ask any new questions that may have emerged since your initial conversation with Capstone. Our staff can determine if you have sufficient space for fostering and if your place is safe for a child or young person.
  • Application visit: If the initial visit is a success and you are deemed suitable for fostering at this stage, you will be invited to fill out an application form to start an assessment and training with Capstone Foster Care. The length of time involved in getting to this stage is determined by how long it took to schedule the first home visit. A social worker will begin the foster care assessment process. Part of the social worker’s assessment involves several more home visits so they can become more acquainted with you and your household. These visits will be spaced over a period of several weeks and once again will depend on your schedule as well as that of the social worker.

For more information, read our detailed guide on how to become a foster parent now.

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How long does it take to foster a child in the UK?

Concurrent with the home visits, several checks will be conducted. These checks include Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS), Social Services, medical, and home risk assessment. During this period of time, you will be kept informed of the progress of your application by a recruitment coordinator. You will also attend foster care training sessions along with others who are undergoing the same assessment process. The DBS check takes about a month. The training sessions are arranged on a frequent basis and may be spread over a couple of months.

When all the checks are completed, they are given to an independent panel and this panel will also meet you before providing its recommendations to Capstone Foster Care. Capstone’s decision maker will make the final decision using the panel’s recommendation as a guide.

If you wish to begin the application process and you have a spare room and are in good health, contact Capstone Foster Care today. There is a great need for many different types of foster carers and thousands of children and young people who need foster placement. If you need any more information on how long it will take to become a foster carer, our helpful team are on hand to answer your queries.

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