how it works
So you know you’re ready to start your journey into fostering, but you’re not sure what to expect. Let us guide you through the process.
the first step
The first step to becoming a foster carer is much easier than you might think. It starts with a simple enquiry with our team in Bridgend. Sending that email or picking up the phone to our team may not feel like much but believe it or not, it’s the most important step in your journey.
the home visit
Once we know you’re interested in becoming a foster carer, we’ll start the process of getting to know you. We’ll come out to visit you in your home or book a video call if we can’t meet face to face. We feel it’s important to build up a relationship with you from the very beginning. This includes getting to know the people who matter most to you, as well as finding out more about where you call home.
The first part of your training and development starts here. It’s designed to teach you more about fostering so you can be certain it’s the right choice for you. It’s also an opportunity to meet other new foster carers who are also just starting their journey.
This first training course is called “Preparation to Foster”, or sometimes “skills to foster”. It takes place over a few days, or evenings. You come away not just with knowledge, but with new connections and friendships that will last.
Next comes the assessment, which is where you’ll also learn all about what fostering will mean for you. Despite its name, we promise it’s not a test. It’s simply an opportunity for us to explore how your family works and for you and your family to ask any questions you might have. By sharing any concerns or questions at this stage, our team of social workers can then consider the strengths and vulnerabilities of your family unit.
Each of our 22 Foster Wales teams has a panel where your assessment is looked at. The panel is made up of independent members, social care workers and foster carers who are all incredibly experienced.
The panel isn’t there to accept or decline your application but rather consider it from all angles, create a plan and share recommendations they believe will help you get the most out of the fostering journey.
the foster care agreement
Once the fostering panel has met and provided recommendations, we get to the foster care agreement. This sets out what it means to be a foster carer – from your daily responsibilities to the wider support and guidance you’ll offer and covers all the expertise and services we’ll offer to you as your support network.