How long does it take and what does it involve?

The target for the period between receiving your official application and you being approved as a foster carer is 12 weeks.

This may feel like a long time but there are good reasons. Vulnerable children and young people will be coming to live in your home and we have a duty to make sure that you can offer a safe and caring environment where children will feel welcomed, cared for and valued.

For this reason, we ask you to go through a process of preparation training and assessment during which we assess your skills and abilities as a potential foster carer. This includes us running various checks on you and your family such as DBS and health checks and employee references.

Once the information is gathered from the home study and the checks are complete, your details will be presented to the Fostering Panel. Panel makes its recommendations about whether or not you should be approved as foster carers to the Executive Head of Children's Services who then has the final decision.

If the decision that is made at Panel is not what you expected and you are not happy about it, there is an official procedure for logging your complaint.