The Application Process
Our assessment process enables Amicus to learn about you and your family, and together decide whether fostering with Amicus is for you. 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, which generally takes between 4 and 6 months.
1. Initial Enquiry
Making an initial enquiry is easy and this can be done by filling out our online form, by email on email@example.com or by phone on 01179555039.
Once we have received your enquiry a member of the team will call you to answer any questions you have and to discuss whether fostering is right for you and your family. We will talk about your reasons for considering fostering and ask you to share any previous experience working with or looking after young people, details about your home and the time you have to care for children.
2. 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 wish to foster. The visit will also give you the chance to share your, understanding, ability and motivation to meet the needs of Children Looked After. 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. Together, we will take the decision as to whether you think fostering is for you, and then we will progress to the next stage.
3. The Skills-to-Foster Preparation Training
You will be required to attend a two day course called Skills to Foster which is informative and fun. You will be invited to attend before the assessment begins 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.
4. Application Process
Once the decision has been made to proceed, following the initial home visit, we will provide you with an application pack which includes: application form, application guidance, DBS on-line link, mentor information, giving you the opportunity to talk to an Amicus foster carer. During this stage, a number of checks will be undertaken which include: your local authority, probation, finance, employment – if applicable, 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, which Amicus fund. 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, if applicable. Once all of the above checks and references have been returned successfully, you will progress to Stage 2 of the assessment.
You will now be allocated an assessing social worker, who will undertake a number of home visits with you and your family. This will give the you the opportunity to assess your support networks, accommodation and lifestyle, financial circumstances, income and expenditure, the reasons you wish to foster, and to reflect on your life experiences, and how they may influence your fostering career. The social worker will then produce an assessment report, which will be shared with you, for your approval, before it is presented to the Amicus Fostering Panel.
You will be invited to attend the Amicus Fostering Panel to meet with the panel members, where you will have the opportunity to ask them questions. 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 decision maker. Your approval is valid for twelve months, after which will follow annual reviews.
Once you are approved as a foster carer, you will be allocated an Amicus supervising social worker, who will be on hand to help and support you throughout your fostering career.