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Becoming a foster carer is an exciting decision to have made, you will have the opportunity to make a positive and life-long impact on the lives of children you care for. It is so important that we have the right people for this and it is why our assessment process needs to be thorough and robust but it is our aim to work closely with you through every step of the process and on hand to answer any questions you might have.
Pop in: We are situated at The Quarry Centre, Cummings Park Crescent, Aberdeen AB16 7AS
A member of the team will gather some basic information from you and then we will link in with you and take a referral. This will happen within 5 working days. We would hope that we can then proceed to a home visit to meet you (and your partner if this is a joint enquiry) at your home.
Attend one of our Information Events: You are welcome to attend any of our Fostering Information Events, if you can let us know that you are attending and we can make sure we have the right people for you to talk to.
This meeting is an opportunity for an exchange of information about the process and your individual circumstances including an opportunity to carry out an initial check on your home. Following this initial meeting we will let you know if we are able to proceed to the next stage. If we do not feel that this is appropriate at this point then we will explain our reasons in full.
The next stage is an invitation to attend a three day Skills to Foster Course, this will give you further insight into the realities of becoming a foster carer. The course involves case studies of children, an overview of child development, the impact of loss and trauma on children and what the role of foster carer means. The course is often co-led by foster carers but we also have other members of the team and relevant people on hand to talk about their experiences. You will also find out the support that will be on offer to you including training courses, support groups and other resources you will be able to link in with. This course is mandatory.
Within two weeks of completing the Skills to Foster Course the group facilitators will provide feedback on whether we can progress to the assessment stage, at which time you can be invited to make a formal application.
Fostering requires commitment, motivation, skills and knowledge. A social worker will be allocated from the Recruitment Assessment and Training Team and will make a number of visits to your home. They will try to get to know you by exploring your own family background, your childhood experiences and your present circumstances. If you are a couple, the social worker will see you together and individually. PVG/Disclosure checks and a medical assessment are an integral part of the process. Appropriate references are also sought. A report called a Form F needs to be completed and the timeframe for this is usually 4-6 months. You will get the opportunity to read and comment on this report.
The assessment report is presented to the Alternative Family Care Panel and you will be asked to attend this alongside your assessing worker. Following the Alternative Family Care Panel meeting a recommendation is passed to the Agency Decision Maker, who must consider the Panel’s recommendation within 14 days and inform you in writing within 7 days of his/her decision.
If you are being assessed as a permanent foster carer you will be transferred to the Permanency Team and if you are being assessed as a respite or temporary carer you will be transferred to the Temporary Carers Team. We will be working alongside these teams throughout your assessment but at the stage of approval you will be formally transferred to a member of the relevant team who will take on the role of supporting you.
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