Are you picturing lines of desks and test papers?
Don’t be. Our pre-approval training is helpful, informal and, best of all, fun! It gives you the opportunity to find out more about fostering and the chance to talk to foster parents and professionals in a relaxed, laidback environment. The training equips prospective foster carers with everything you need to become a great foster parent for a child or young person. And there’s not an exam in sight!
The pre-approval training course forms part of the fostering assessment process. The course is designed to help you understand exactly what fostering involves, the skills to foster, the challenges and decide whether it’s right for you.
It’s held at a local venue and is run and facilitated by our qualified social workers and experienced foster parents. You’ll meet the team in an informal setting, with a cuppa and biscuits, of course and get to know other people who are also interested in fostering.
What’s covered in the pre-approval training?
You’ll work through six areas during the training. These are:
- What foster parents do
- Team Parenting® and working together
- Understanding children and young people
- Safer caring
- Helping you become a resilient and successful foster parent
- Supporting children when they leave your care
There’s no test at the end; our pre-approval training is all about making sure you have all the knowledge you need about fostering and to move on to panel and approval.
At FCA, we care about our foster parents. That’s why we offer unrivalled levels of support. And, with our excellent out of hours service, we’re only ever a phone call away.
What is the process of becoming a foster parent?
Applying to become a foster parent involves a number of steps and starts when you contact us.
- Get in touch
We’ll have a chat to you talk to one of our friendly fostering advisors by calling 0800 023 4561 or filling in our enquiry form.
- We’ll visit you at home
We will arrange for one of our fostering advisors to visit you at home to talk to you in more detail and what to expect and how we will support you and find out a bit more about you.
- Start your application
If you decide you’d like to apply to foster with us, we’ll start you application process. The process involves filling in an application form and once accepted we will then undertake your fostering assessment.
- Fostering assessment
Following your application we’ll undertake a fostering assessment. Your assessing social worker will visit you and your family at home a number of times to speak to you and collect information about you and your life. It will help us to understand more about you. In addition you will attend a preparatory training course to help you learn more about fostering and how to handle different situations. The assessment process takes between four to six months.
- Meet the panel
Once your assessment is finished you will go to a fostering panel who will make their recommendation. The group is made up of people with fostering experience. Your social worker will help you prepare and be there for support. Read our blog about panel to help you understand.
Once approved the real fostering journey starts!
What kind of support will I receive?
We wouldn’t expect anyone to foster without the right support, so when you foster with FCA you are not alone.
Become a foster parent with us and you have access to:
- Social Work Support– you will have a dedicated supervising social worker who is your main point of contact and will organise monthly meetings and support for you whenever you need it
- 24 / 7 support
- Training and development - We will prepare you to foster and keep developing your skills with an ongoing training programme featuring both face to face and online courses thorough our Learnative portal.
- Events and activities – we host a range of events and activities for all the family to enjoy.
- Online portal – Join our online community with our portal The Exchange just for FCA foster parents. It gives you free and instant access to information and advice right when you need it – day or night, 365 days a year. Plus access to a range of discounts to some major retailers and online stores.
- Fostering Network membership - useful and practical benefits, including insurance, legal protection, medical and stress advice helplines, as well as a foster care magazine.
Do I get any breaks or holidays while fostering?
We do offer respite your supervising social worker can speak to you about what it entails.
How can we help?
Ready to start fostering a child or young person? Or just want a bit more information to help you decide whether fostering is for you? All you need to do is contact us.