The initial assessment stage involves you sharing factual information about yourself, your partner and children (if applicable) with your allocated worker. We are also required to carry out various checks on you, your partner (if applicable), and any other member of your household who is aged 16 or over.
These checks will be made with your local authority, the police, the NSPCC and your doctor and will show whether you are suitable to be a foster carer. We will also ask for references from previous and current employers, as well as personal references from people who know you well and can comment on your ability to care for a foster child. During this stage you will also be invited to attend initial training to learn more about fostering. The overall process can take around two months.
You will only progress to stage 2 once you have successfully completed stage 1.
This stage of the assessment can take up to four months with your Brent Fostering worker visiting your home at least every week. During this time, you will talk about your background, your own experiences of education and employment, and your lifestyle. This will include religion, culture and day-to-day living, as well as your skills around caring for children and young people.
During these discussions you will also find out about the impact fostering may have on you and your family. When the assessment is finished, your Brent Fostering worker will write a detailed report that you will have the opportunity to read before it is presented to the fostering panel.
The fostering panel
You will be invited to attend the fostering panel supported by your worker to discuss your report, including your positive qualities and any areas for development. The panel will decide whether or not to recommend your approval as a foster carer to the Agency Decision Maker, a senior manager within the Children and Young People’s Department, who is not a member of the Panel.
Applying to become a foster carer with Brent Fostering means that a social worker form our team will advise and support you every step of the way so that you feel confident and complete each stage successfully.