All foster carers have to be assessed and approved before we can place any children with them. We have to do this to ensure that we place Wokingham children in a safe and caring home.
Assessment and approval can take four to six months from start to finish and you will be supported by a social worker from the fostering team throughout this process.
Step 1: Initial enquiry
Call us on 0118 974 6204, complete our enquiry form or attend one of our information events. We will ask you a few questions about your circumstances such as your reasons for considering fostering and whether you have a spare room and send you an information pack.
Step 2: Initial home visit
If, after reading the information pack, you decide that you want to find out more, a social worker from our fostering team will visit you at home. This is an informal two-way discussion and at this stage you are not committing yourself to anything. It’s an opportunity for you to ask any questions about your own circumstances and to find out more about fostering for Wokingham. If you wish to progress your initial enquiry at this stage, the visiting social worker can complete a brief assessment form.
Step 3: Skills to Foster preparation course
This is a compulsory, 6-session course for anyone wishing to become a foster carer. Courses are run regularly throughout the year and provide an in-depth understanding of your role and responsibilities as a foster carer. It is also an opportunity to meet other potential and existing foster carers. Following the course the trainers and you will jointly decide whether fostering is right for you.
If you are married or have a partner, you will both be required to attend all 6 sessions and attending this course will form part of your assessment process.
Step 4: Assessment
During the formal assessment period, a qualified social worker will visit your home for approximately eight visits. During these visits they will discuss a number of things including your life history and motivation for fostering. We will also undertake statutory checks (including checks with the Criminal Records Bureau, local authority and your GP) and collect personal references from people who know you.
The social worker will summarise the assessment into a report which you will have the chance to discuss before it is presented to the Fostering Panel.
Step 5: Fostering panel
Your social worker will present the report to the fostering panel and you will be invited to attend the panel meeting.
The Fostering Panel consists of people from the local authority and independent members. They will make the decision whether to recommend approval of your application to become a foster carer.
Step 6: Approved foster carer
You will be allocated a supervising social worker who will provide you with regular support and a training and development plan.
We look forward to hearing from you.