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DT’s journey to becoming a Foster Carer – Step 3, The Application

2nd July, 2021

Are you thinking of becoming a foster carer, but have no clue where to start? This series of blogs written by DT, a newly approved foster carer, offers a first-hand account about the process, from making that initial decision, right through to getting approved. Read DT’s previous blog here

The “thumbs up” from Capstone was via a voicemail message received on the 29th September 2020 at 19:16 and I was asked to have a think about it and let them know if I wanted to proceed to the application form stage. Without hesitation I sent an email to Leona saying “yes!”, I then told the household the great news. They did not know about my past, so they probably did not understand how overjoyed I was to be considered for the next stage. I received the application form the next day along with a checklist of key points. The application form was long, and it asked for important information such as:

  • 10-year address history – to apply for local authority checks.
  • Full employment details, back to leaving school.
  • 3 References – one of them had to be a family member. I knew I would have to chat with my brother about fostering and my two friends. Up until that point only the household knew.

I am no spring chicken, and the employment information did require a bit of thought about specific dates. There was a trend that none of the companies I worked for in the past seemed to still be in business, which looked a bit odd on the form. I do however own and run my own business, which I have done for 20 years, so I thought that this should be ok. I sent the application form back along with the consent forms from all the family members. Clearly my decision to foster would have an impact on others and I was glad they were so on board.

A few days later, I was standing in my kitchen when I got a call from Leona to let me know that my new contact at Capstone would be Fiona who would work with me through the remainder of the process.  I did feel a little sad to begin with, as I had built a good relationship with Leona and I wondered if I would have to start all over again? The funny thing about this was that in the early days, I had called Leona Fiona as I had misheard her name! I need not have worried, as when I spoke to Fiona on the 20th October 2020, she was exactly like Leona; warm and friendly and I knew I was still in good hands.

I still get regular texts from Leona now, who asks me how things are going and this is something about Capstone Foster Care that makes you feel that you are part of one big family, and that everyone cares.

Fiona sent me the dates for the Skills to Foster training which is a mandatory 3-day course as part of the approval process. This started on Friday 30th October and it would be three Fridays in a row starting at 9:30am for 3 hours each. I needed to do this on Microsoft Teams. Another email highlighted in more detail the approval process.

  • Stage 1 - carrying out statutory checks, medicals and DBS.
  • Stage 2 - allocation of an assessing social worker to talk to me in more detail and to understand me more, my family history and my suitability to foster.

Looking back, I thought “an assessor”; I really did not like the sound of that! It sounded so judgemental and clearly, I was going to hate that part of the process. I can laugh now about my concerns, as in truth my experience was nothing like that, but you do have these worries and that is only natural, because it matters so much.

You can find DT's next  blog about the Skills to Foster training and assessment here. If DT's story is inspiring you to enquire about becoming a foster carer, don't hesitate to get in touch!

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