When we receive your enquiry, a member of the fostering recruitment team will contact you to arrange a suitable time to undertake a telephone interview to gain further information about you, your family and explain the criteria for applying. Once this has been successfully completed we will send you an information pack and arrange a suitable time for a member of the fostering team to visit you at home.
If you are ready to undertake a telephone interview, you can request a call back.
A member of the fostering team will visit you and your family at home to undertake an Initial Home Visit, during which we will ask you lots of questions including your reasons for fostering, learn more about you and any family members who will be involved in the fostering application (or who live in the household) and will further ensure that your home will be able to accommodate a fostered child or young person. You will also have the opportunity to ask any questions you may have. A report detailing recommendations is then submitted to our Foster Care Recruitment Team.
These can occur simultaneously. If successful at this stage, you will then be invited to attend the Day 1 Introduction to Fostering training. This day will assist you in making a decision as to whether you wish to progress to a formal application to foster and will cover both the rewards and challenges which you may face as a carer and the involvement of Swiis in supporting you. Should you wish to proceed, you will be asked to complete an application form for review. If you are a carer couple both carers will need to attend all preparation training.
Swiis will assign you a named, qualified social worker to carry out a fostering assessment with you and your family. This is a joint project and requires full participation from you and your family. During the assessment, a number of statutory checks will be carried out. The assessment process normally takes about 4 months to complete, although we can move at a pace suitable to you.
As part of your assessment, we will carry out a series of statutory and best practice checks, including:
- PVG Check
- Local Authority checks
- Ex-partners (except in exceptional circumstances)
- Children from previous relationships
- Reference from current employer/fostering organisation/voluntary work
- School/Health visitor reports for your own children (if appropriate)
- Medical reports
- At least 2 personal references and 1 family references
- References from all previous employment involving children and vulnerable people
- General risk assessment of your home (including pets)
- Recommendations for improving safety
- Financial Check
- British Armed Forces Vetting, overseas and Professional Bodies Checks are also undertaken if applicable
This is a quality assurance review of your application by an independent panel. They will make a recommendation to approve your application.
Your fostering assessment and the outcome of all your checks will be presented to the Fostering Panel, which includes a combination of professional and independent members. Main carers, as well as secondary carers are required to attend and respond to questions the Panel may have about the reasons you wish to become a foster carer. A recommendation as to whether you should be approved as a foster carer is made on the day by the Fostering Panel.
The final decision to approve you as a foster carer rests with the Agency Decision Maker. The ADM reviews all information and minutes of the panel meeting and makes a final judgement. Once official approval has been given, Swiis will notify you, confirming who your social worker will be and will arrange for them to visit you at home as soon as possible. All relevant Local Authorities will be made aware of your availability as a foster carer and the placement team will begin matching you with your first foster child.