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How do you become a foster carer during lockdown?

01 May 2020

During a crisis like the global Coronavirus pandemic, many businesses have had to adapt and adjust their processes to continue to stay open and accessible to their users. Fostering agencies are no different. Here at Team Fostering, we’ve moved much of our everyday activity online, with everything from team meetings to tea breaks taking place virtually through video calling.

We’re jumping on the telephone as often as we can to check in with our foster carers – making sure that they know we’re supporting them through this complicated time, and also finding out about any other things we can do to help.

Our Team Talk online platform is a source of activities, advice, resources and lots more for our foster carers and staff – we’re continuously updating with news items, downloadable tools, handy helplines, useful links and anything else we think might be useful to our community of carers.

But what if you’re not a foster carer yet? How do we bring you on board without meeting you in person?

Traditionally, our foster carer application process can involve a lot of face to face interaction, including a home visit from one of our experienced Recruitment Social Workers (RSWs). But during social distancing measures, this simply isn’t an option.

When we receive your enquiry, we’ll give you a phone call. This helps us find out more about you, whether you fit our eligibility criteria for becoming a foster carer, and whether you’re ready to proceed with the application process.

If you tick the right boxes at this stage, we’ll then arrange a ‘virtual visit’ with you. One of our very friendly RSWs will give you a video call to find out more about your life, your household circumstances, and they’ll tell you more about what foster care entails. You won’t need anything more complicated than a smartphone or laptop, and this call should give you a wider view of what being a foster carer is like, and the changes it might make to your day to day life.

If, after this call, you and Team Fostering both agree that becoming a foster carer could be the right step for you to make, you’ll be invited to apply. We’ll send you a link to our brand-new Online Application Portal. Here, we’ll ask you for some comprehensive details about yourself, your household, your family, your career history and lot of other information that helps us build up a rich picture of you and who you are. Our online form will guide you through each section, meaning you can work through your application at your own pace, with the support of our Recruitment Team at each turn.

We’ll still need a few documents as paper versions, so we’ll send you those to complete and return. We’ll also need to verify you are who you say you are – an important part of the process, as you can imagine! We’ll do this by video calling. And then, if you’ve completed everything we need by this point, you’ll enter into assessment to become a foster carer! Congratulations!

If applying to become a foster carer is something you’d like to know more about, you can contact us in the following ways: