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Amicus Foster Care | Independent Fostering Agency | South West England

The Application Process...

 

Our assessment approach enables Amicus to find out about you and your family and to make a decision about whether or not you should become approved Foster Carers with Amicus.

 

It is an extremely important process to ensure that all children and young people placed in foster care are safe, secure and can reach their full potential.

In line with Regulations, Amicus follow a two stage process:

Stage 1
Initial Inquiry


Making an initial enquiry is easy and this can be done by email or by phone.You may email us using enquiries@amicusfostercare.com or  you can call us directly on 01179555039. You will be able to speak to a member of the team, over the telephone to answer any questions you have and to discuss whether fostering is right for you and your family. We will contact you within 3 working days from your initial interest to complete an initial enquiry form with you to find out more about your reasons for considering fostering, your previous experience of caring for children and your housing space and the time you have to care for children. The information would inform us whether you are a good candidate for fostering. Following this call we will discuss your application as a team and make a decision as to whether to pursuit the enquiry, if it has been decided to progress we will arrange a home visit to come and meet you and talk further. We hope to ensure the initial visit will take place within 15 working days of your Expression of Interest being received.

Initial Home Visit


A social worker from the fostering team will visit you at home to discuss fostering in more detail and answer any additional questions you have. They will complete a brief assessment with you and your partner (if applicable) in relation to your consideration into fostering. The visit will also give you the chance to share your motivation, understanding and ability to meet the needs of Looked After Children. You will be able to discuss the fostering role and have the opportunity to highlight any experiences you have had that may strengthen your application to foster. We will ask about your family and support system and their feelings about fostering. The social worker will make a recommendation to the fostering team manager and a decision will be made whether we progress to the assessment stage or if there is additional work/learning that needs to take place prior to this.

The Skills-to- Foster Preparation Training


You will be required to attend a two day course called kills to Foster, which is fun and informative. Depending on when the training course starts, you may be invited to attend the course before the assessment begins or after or during the assessment. The facilitation of this course is managed by Amicus managers and social workers with additional support and input from approved foster carers and young people that have experienced the care system.  The trainers will produce feedback which will be considered as part of your application.

Stage 1

Assessment (8 – 10 weeks)


Once the initial home visit has been complete and a decision has been made to progress the application to foster, we will send you an application pack which includes; Application form, Application guidance, DBS Check, Mentor information. During the assessment stage a number of checks will be undertaken which includes: your local authority, probation, finance, employment and education; if you have a school age child, we will also complete personal references. You will be expected to undertake a health assessment with your doctor. We will need to complete a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check on you, your partner and any members of your household who are over 18.

Once all of the above checks and references have been returned, all information will be reported to the Agency Decision Maker, who will make the final decision in terms of not continuing with your application or agreement to assign a qualified Social Worker to undertake a full fostering assessment

(Stage 2).   You will be informed of either decision within 10 working days of the final safeguarding checks being received.

Stage 2

Assessment (up to 4months)


If the Agency Decision Maker is in agreement for you to progress to a full fostering assessment, stage 2 will commence.  You will then be allocated an Assessing Social Worker, who will need to visit your home to gather information about you and your family and to provide you with information about fostering and Amicus.  The Social Worker will produce an assessment report that we refer to as a Form F. Amongst other things this provides information about you and your family of origin, significant personal relationships you have had and your current family, your health, education, employment, support network, accommodation and lifestyle, financial circumstances, income and expenditure, the reasons you wish to foster, your understanding of fostering and the way it will affect you and your family.

At the end of the assessment, the Form F report is presented to the Fostering Panel. You will need to attend the Fostering Panel to meet with the Panel members. They will consider your assessment and will then make a recommendation about your approval as a Foster Carer(s); the final decision is made by the Agency's Decision Maker.

Whilst each assessment is an individual process and the length of time an assessment takes varies to some extent, we endeavour to ensure that the Stage 2 process is completed within four months.

Throughout stage 2, qualified and experienced members of Amicus will be available to advise and support you.  It is our expectation that you take a full positive part in your assessment.

If you are currently fostering for an agency and wish to transfer to Amcius stage 1 and stage 2 can happen concurrently.  Should you have children and young people in placement, protocol meetings will form part of Stage 1.

At Amcius on average we complete Stage 1 and Stage 2 within a 20 week period.

Post Approval


Once you are approved as a foster carer, your assessing social worker will arrange for you to be enrolled on our payment system and transferred to a Supervising Social Worker, who will help you to order any equipment that you will need for a placement and arrange any training and support you may need once you are approved you will be ready to take placements

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