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DT’s journey to becoming a Foster Carer – Following Approval

16th August, 2021

This series of blogs written by DT, a newly approved foster carer, offers a first-hand account of becoming a foster carer, from making that initial enquiry,  right through to being approved and beyond. You can read DT’s previous blog here

Becoming an approved foster carer had been an immense experience and I initially felt ready to have a placement here straight away. In truth, I probably was glad of the few weeks break. There was time to think about what I needed to do on a day-to-day basis and time just to catch my breath.

I needed to complete some core courses before I could be put onto the placement list. I received the mandatory list plus some other courses and then they were added to my foster carer’s record. The format for training was pretty much always the same. I was sent a link for a virtual meeting a week before, then a reminder the day before and then a text 2 hours before. For the online courses that I completed on my own,  the course sat on the training hub website for whenever I was ready to start. It was very well organised.

The Core courses I completed within 9 days were:

  • Managing Behaviour
    This was run by two people from Capstone, and we discussed certain behaviours and how to respond to them. It was very useful as we got the opportunity to discuss this in groups. Joining up with existing foster carers that already had placements taught me about other behaviours that were challenges for them as well.
  • GDPR
    I thought this was going to be the dullest training on the planet, but it was an online course which was very informative about what reporting I needed to do.
  • Safe-guarding
    This was a huge subject, and I was glad I had time to complete this as an online course. It wasn’t easy reading at times, but it really did give me the feeling that I would understand a looked after child better and know what to be aware of.

After each course I completed a feedback form. These forms were quite in depth as they asked for detail on how I would apply what I had learnt to help a child.

My next course was about Culture & Identity which was run by a third party. I really threw myself into all the training. I loved it as I had learnt so much from the assessment, but this was far more in-depth. I also enjoyed meeting the other foster carers.

After another 4 weeks, I started to think, “when will the placement process start for me?”.

There were other things that were happening at the same time. I had been chatting with Fiona who had been there during my assessment, and I said I would love to help other people take the step to become a foster carer. I knew I wanted to share what a great process it had been for me and that there was nothing to worry about. I also wanted to let people know that they might have made some mistakes in the past, but it didn’t exclude them from applying to become a foster carer. I was put in touch with Lisa from Marketing, and we had a good chat over the phone. It was agreed that I would write a blog series about the assessment process. Writing the blogs has been amazing for me as I have been able to remember and document how I felt at every stage. I really enjoy writing and I have found it very relaxing. I initially wondered if I would be able to write a few and I ended up writing eight (and counting!)

It’s funny to say that I never imagined how much I would enjoy email chatting with people from Capstone.

Their enthusiasm, regardless of what area of the company they work in shines through with how much they care about the children and how supported you are as a foster carer. I really look forward to my email folder going bold and another message being received. It feels very much like one big family, and we chat about lots of different things. I don’t know if other agencies are like this but there is a definite family feel here.

After my next supervision session with my supervising social worker, I was told I was now ready to go on the vacancy list with the placements team and I needed to write my profile which would be sent to the local authority when there was a match made. I took my time doing this, as it would be the first place where the local authority would find out about me and clearly it needed to convey who I was. As with all things, my supervising social worker looked over it, approved it and it was sent to placements. I got an email back saying they loved it and then I waited for the phone to ring.

Watch this space as DT continues to blog about her journey beyond being approved, including the matching process. If you feel inspired to find out more about becoming a foster carer, don't hesitate to get in touch.

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