How do I enquire about fostering?
Contact us by phoning our recruitment hotline on 0800 7313215. We will make sure you've checked this out with all your family , as they will be involved too. When we receive your enquiry, we will talk to you and arrange to visit you at your home. At that first visit, the Recruitment and Marketing Officer will discuss fostering with you and help you decide whether to make a formal application to foster. If we agree that you have the potential to foster, we will encourage you to complete and return an application form as soon as you can.
Background checks are an important part of the application process. We will check with the Criminal Records Bureau, local authority files, probation and NSPCC. We may contact other people with your permission, for example contacting your child’s school. The application form also asks for a range of references. We will send your referees a form to complete and usually we will talk to them as well.
Once we have received a completed application form, the Family Placement Team Manager will allocate a social worker to carry out an assessment.
The assessing social worker will visit you about six times to complete the assessment. It is not like an exam, but it is a way to make sure that you understand what fostering will involve and that you have the skills (or the potential to learn the skills) needed. If you have children of your own, the assessing social worker will want to meet them early in the process. Fostering can be demanding, and can put family relationships under pressure. For that reason the social worker will need to ask some very personal questions, and help you explore any difficulties or issues from your own upbringing. Some of the best foster carers have had difficult past experiences, but it is important that they have been resolved before starting to foster. We try to ensure assessments are thorough, but also completed quickly, but this is not always possible.
Part of the assessment will involve training. A 'Skills to foster' training programme will help prepare you as well as assist with our assessments.
After the assessment and training, your social worker prepares a report for our fostering panel. You will have the chance to discuss it and make any comments before your social worker presents that report to the Fostering Panel. The Panel decides whether to approve you as a foster carer for Denbighshire. The Panel is made up from a number of people from a range of backgrounds.
The assessment should ensure that any doubts about your suitability for fostering will have been addressed during the assessment process, so that the panel can approve you. The Fostering Panel will only decide to reject applications for very specific reasons.
If after reading this information you are interested in taking your application to foster forward, please complete and submit the expression of interest online form or ring our Free Phone enquiry line on 0800 7313215.