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The assessment process takes between 6-8 months depending on your individual circumstances.

Step 1 – Initial enquiry

Give us a call or request an information booklet on our website. The information booklet is designed to answer your questions about fostering and adoption so you can find out if you are eligible and decide if it is the right time for you. If you give us a call a social worker will have an initial chat with you, answer any questions you have and take some details from you. If you request a booklet on our website a social worker will give you a call back to have an initial chat. You will be invited to an information event or we will come out to see you in your home.

Step 2 – Tell us you’re interested

You will hopefully have had lots of information and decided if fostering or adoption is for you. You can let us know, there is some paperwork to complete and we will begin doing some initial checks (i.e. DBS check, medical checks – more information is on the checks page)

Step 3 – Training

To prepare you for the role you will attend ‘Skills to Foster’ or ‘Preparing to Adopt’ training – see more information here. Your assessment (step 4) may begin before your training depending on the training dates and your availability.

Step 4 – Assessment

This involves a social worker visiting you several times to get to know you, your family, your home and your experiences to make sure you can offer a child security, stability and safety.

Step 5 – The Panel

Your assessing social worker will write a detailed report about you to present to the foster or adoption panel. You will see the report and you can attend the panel. The panel decides whether to recommend your approval and a senior manager considers their recommendation to reach a decision. Watch a film about a foster carer called Michael on his Panel Day here.

Step 6 – Placement

Once you’ve been approved, the fostering or adoption team will seek to identify an appropriate child for you and your family.

Step 7 – Ongoing development and support

You will receive ongoing training and support and guidance from your fostering supervising social worker or the Adoption Social Workers.