How to apply and the fostering process

Step 1 Initial enquiry

If you're interested in finding out more about fostering, the first step is to contact us. Call 01432 383240 and speak to the recruitment officer, email fostering@herefordshire.gov.uk or complete our enquiry form.

We also hold regular information events where you can come and meet a member of the team.

Step 2 Home visit

The recruitment officer will arrange a home visit to meet you and your family personally and to talk through any questions you have. The types of fostering and the assessment process will be discussed in full, and you will be given information on how you will be supported and trained in your role.

Step 3 Application

After a successful home visit, you will be asked to complete an application form. This will give us permission to request references and checks, invite you to have a medical and to complete a DBS check. The recruitment officer will support you through each step of the process until a social worker is allocated to start your assessment.

Step 4 Skills to foster training (preparation training)

The preparation course runs over three days and you are expected to attend all three days if possible. The course covers topics such as child development, separation and loss, diversity and identity, safe care, childhood trauma and attachment. You will be observed at this training, and the summary of these observations will be fed into your assessment.

Step 5 Assessment

Compiling the assessment report will involve a social worker visiting you several times at home to get to know you, your family, and your home, including your pets. The assessment will be a detailed report all about you and will begin with your childhood experiences and how you were parented, your schooling, relationships and employment through to who you are today. You will have the opportunity to read this report and add any comments before it is finalised.

Step 6 Foster Panel

Your assessment will be presented to the Foster Panel and you will be invited to attend this with your assessing social worker. The Foster Panel comprises of a group of around 8-10 professionals all working with, or supporting children in care. Panel members will ask you a number of questions based on your assessment. Your social worker will help you prepare for Panel and you will have a good understanding of what to expect.

Step 7 Agency Decision Maker

An Agency Decision Maker will make the final decision about approving you as a foster carer.

Your future as a foster carer

After approval as a foster carer, you will be introduced to your new supervising social worker who will remain with you from this point forward. Together with our placements team, your social worker will endeavour to find a match that is right for you, your family and the foster child.

You will receive ongoing support and guidance from your supervising social worker and they will be your first point of contact for most things.