Where do I start?
Becoming a foster carer is a big decision and there are lots of things to think about before deciding whether it’s right for you.
To become a foster carer there are six steps you’ll complete, depending on your circumstances, the process can take between four and six months.
You can register your interest in becoming a foster carer with us by calling us on 0141 646 1400 or completing our short enquiry form. One of our dedicated fostering advisors will get to know you and find out about your current situation. We will talk to you about fostering and answer any questions you may have.
Our team are happy to answer any questions you may have about fostering and about becoming a foster carer with FCA Scotland.
A fostering advisor will visit your home or we can arrange a virtual home visit via video call if you’d prefer. At the home visit we will give you more information about fostering with FCA Scotland, the role of the foster carer, how we support our foster carers and answer any questions you have. We will also have a look around your home and see the bedroom you want use for fostering. Hopefully, by the end of the home visit, you should have good idea if you think fostering is right for you. If you’re suitable to foster and are ready to progress, you’ll need to complete an application form.
Once your application is been accepted, one of our social workers will be in touch to start your fostering assessment. As part of the fostering assessment they’ll visit you between eight and ten times to gather information about you such as; your home, childhood, you family and children, current and previous relationships, health and, any skills and experience you have that will help you with fostering. This information will be put together in a report called a Form F.
You’ll be invited to attend our fostering preparatory training course which will give you a full understanding of the fostering role and get you thinking about how you would react to some of the situations you may find yourself in when you become a foster carer with FCA Scotland.
After your Form F assessment has been completed, we’ll present all your Form F information in report to a fostering panel which you will be invited to attend. The panel comprising of a group independent people from various related backgrounds review your Form F report. They may ask you some additional questions and will then make a recommendation on your suitability to foster.
This recommendation, together with your assessment report is reviewed by our agency decision maker, who will make the final decision about whether or not you can become a foster carer.
Fostering with us
Once you have been approved, your fostering journey with us will begin! You are ready for your first foster child, and now you are approved our experienced placements officers will be in touch to get to know you and your family. We build strong relationships with all of our foster carers, so we can expertly match the needs of children and young people with our families.
We’ll send you all the information that we have on the child or young person to help you can decide whether you’d like to be put forward to care for the child.
We do all we can to make the application process as straightforward as it can be. It’s important to us that you’re always kept well informed and the process is as stress-free and smooth as possible.
Checks and references
During your fostering application process, we carry out a number of crucial and essential checks as well as references from people you might know personally or professionally.
Like any career, fostering is a journey of learning. And just as there are different types of fostering, there are also different pathways you can take, depending on your interests.
The fostering panel will take place at a venue local to you. It takes the form of a meeting made up of about eight or nine independent panel members who have related experience.
Your first foster child
Before you start to foster you’ll be made aware of the young person’s history and why they need foster care, together with any specific needs or requirements. We’ll provide you with all the support you need.
Matching and referrals
We spend time getting to know our foster families which allows us to highlight their skills and experience to the local authority social worker, ensuring the right match and the better the outcomes for all.
Take a look at the application process, get in touch or read through our FAQs if you are still unsure if you can foster.
Who can apply to become a foster carer?
Anyone can apply to foster with us. We welcome foster carers from all walks of life; no matter what your gender, age, race or sexual orientation. We do have criteria though:
- You need a spare room
- You need to be over 21
- You need to have British Citizenship or permanent leave to stay in the UK
Do I need any special qualifications or experience to foster?
No, we will give you all the training you need together with ongoing development and support.
What happens when I’m approved?
Upon approval you are legally able to care for a young person. Once you’ve signed a Foster Carer Agreement you’ll be allocated a supervising social worker who will take you forward. You are then ready to take your first child or young person.
When does my first placement start?
This depends on many factors, such as on your personal circumstances, how soon we can find a child or young person that’s right for you and vice versa making sure we doing the right thing for everyone involved. We get new referrals from local authorities every day, so you might not have to wait very long.
You’ll be in regular contact with your supervising social worker and they’ll discuss the needs of the young person before they’re placed with you, you will also have the opportunity to ask any questions. Your supervising social worker will organise wherever possible for you to meet the child before. We want to make this transition as comfortable and as smooth as possible for you and your family.
Got some more questions?
Find out the answers here.
Interested in becoming a foster carer with FCA Scotland?
Do you have the skills and compassion needed to be a foster carer? Enter your town or postcode to find your nearest office or get in touch today.
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