Can I apply to foster during the COVID-19 lockdown/restrictions?

I want to apply to foster during Covid-19 – Am I allowed?

The short answer is YES!

The COVID-19 pandemic has obviously placed us all under a number of restrictions and this includes fostering agencies.

There are parts of the fostering assessment process that cannot be completed under the current restrictions, however if you are interested in fostering we can begin your assessment process and as restrictions are eased in the coming months we will be able to complete the face-to-face aspects of the process and complete your journey to becoming an approved foster carer.

The Foster Carer Assessment and Approval Process

Initial Telephone/Email Enquiry -We will check that you meet the initial criteria (you have a spare room, at least 21 years of age etc.). If you meet these criteria we will send you out an information pack.

Initial Home Visit – One of our social workers will visit you to answer your questions and further explore your suitability to foster. During COVID-19 this ‘visit’ can be conducted using Zoom. Following this visit our Fostering Manager will make a decision as to whether to pursue your application. This decision will be conveyed to you within seven days of the home visit.

Stage One – Pre-Assessment

Checks – A number of forms are sent out to you to complete. Checks (e.g. Criminal record check, health report etc.) are carried out once these forms are received. A decision is then made as to whether you are suitable to move on to stage two of the assessment process.

Stage Two – Full Assessment

Fostering Assessor – A fostering assessor social worker will be assigned to you. An initial visit will be undertaken by a Fostering Dimensions social worker and the assessing social worker.

Further Checks – There are a number of other checks (e.g. Health & Safety Check, referee visits etc.) that will need to be carried out during the course of the assessment and these can be carried out without in person meetings.

Stage 2 normally involves a number of in person meetings and normally lasts for 3-4 months.Some of these meetings can be conducted using Zoom. Obviously we are in a fast-changing environment due to the COVID-19 so it is difficult to predict the future, however by using technology we are confident that we are still able to progress your fostering enquiry in an efficient manner.

Fostering Panel – When your assessment is completed you will go before an independent fostering panel. The panel meeting will be held remotely until it is safe to meet in person. The Panel’s recommendation is sent to the Agency Decision Maker who makes the final decision as to whether to approve you as a foster carer. You will informed of their decision verbally within two days and in writing within seven days.

If you have any questions please get in touch.