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Newly Approved Foster Carer
First of all, if you’re a newly approved foster carer then congratulations! This is an achievement in and of itself, but remember that this is just the beginning of your exciting journey. There will be many more good days, challenging days, and memories to make along your path as a new foster parent.
If you’re not a newly approved carer, but just wondering what life as a new carer would be like, then you’re in the right place! To become a carer you will have undergone the assessment process, completed the ‘skills to foster’ training course, and attended your panel meeting. The Agency Decision Maker has agreed that you are well suited to fostering and therefore you have become a registered foster carer!
This process can take between 3 and 6 months and can feel like a long time from your initial enquiry through to actual approval. Now that you are approved, the exciting part of your journey can actually begin – welcoming your first foster child!
It is extremely important to us that foster families are successful and lead to positive outcomes for looked after children. Ensuring that foster parents are a good match with the needs of foster children is essential in securing the happiness of both the young people in care and the foster carers we support. We want the placement to be successful for everyone, including the carer.
Good matches always depend on openness, honesty, and we rely on our carers to provide as much information as possible about themselves to ensure we can make a match that will suit your skills and areas of experience.
We always aim to make the best matches possible and will prioritise making a good match over a speedy match. This means that you won’t always have your first foster child come to live with you as soon as you’re approved, it can take a little longer.
We will look at all the information we have available including the foster child’s needs such as their care history (if applicable), age, developmental needs, and other factors that will be important to their care. Then we will consider the needs of the carer, such as their home environment, if they have birth children, their location, and transport capabilities. All of these factors will be considered when making a match.
You will always be consulted during this process and no decisions will be made without your consent.
Once approved, you will be assigned a Supervising Social Worker who will make sure you have all the information and support you need moving forward. Just because you’re approved doesn’t mean that the support stops. We are here to support you during the process of placing a child as well as during the entire duration of your placement and beyond.
You will have access to a senior member of the team at all times as well as regular telephone contact and meetings with your social worker. Plus, further training and development opportunities are available to ensure your knowledge is fresh and up to date. You can even choose to undertake specialist training to enter into different areas of foster care such as parent and child fostering.
A care plan sets out the long-term plan for the young person in care based on their individual needs. The plan details how the child’s unique developmental needs will be met. It ensures that there is a plan for the child’s upbringing that everyone is working towards including the team of social workers, the child, and the foster family.
As a carer, it is your responsibility to tend to the child’s needs including emotional and educational as well as their basic needs. You will be in charge of record keeping, noting any improvements, achievements, day-to-day changes in behaviour and mood, etc. This is important so that you can give feedback to the team and ensure that the care plan is being carried out effectively. We understand that fostering is a team process where the carer plays a hugely important role. We always value the opinions of our carers.
If you have any worries or concerns, don’t be afraid to speak to us at Fusion! Please give us a call on 03301 239355.