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How long does it take to become a foster carer?

The short answer to the question about the length of time it takes to be a foster carer is six months. This is a general estimate of the time it takes but in some cases it can take only three or four months. The time is based on the assessment process.

Stepping through the assessment process provides a guideline to the time involved in the whole procedure that takes you from thinking about becoming a foster parent to being a foster carer.

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 this 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.

If you are interested in fostering, 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.

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 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.

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 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, call 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.

For further information please call us on 0800 012 4004 or simply click here.

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