Fostering children is a great service to brighten their future. Fostering is defined as taking temporary parental responsibility for a child outside of your own family. This is usually a child that has been placed into the care of the local authority who will then seek to settle the child into a family home environment. Becoming a foster carer with Sunbeam will be a life changing and pleasant journey for you and the children you are going to foster.
Fostering with Sunbeam
We’re here to make becoming a foster carer as easy as possible and will provide you with all the advice and guidance you need to help you start your fostering journey.
We know that to achieve a healthy society our focus needs to be on children who need to be supported to build, achieve and succeed. This is a shared focus and we are here to support our foster carers in achieving this.
We will start with your fostering enquiry by allocating you a qualified staff member to assess your situation and if fostering is the right choice for you. He/she will conduct a home visit as soon as possible and proceed with your application to the next stage. The whole assessment process will take around 12 weeks depending on your individual circumstances and completion of statury checks. We will be in regular contact with you to offer updates about your assessment process. You will be offered preparatory skills to foster training (2-3 days) during the course of your assessment and this will provide you with the opportunity to meet other applicants and discuss and learn more about fostering in a group setting.
If you have any questions about fostering, simply click here and get in touch.
Who can become a Foster Carer?
We need foster carers from a wide range of backgrounds, races and religion. This is because all children have their own unique and individual background and heritage. You do not need to be married, own a house or have children of your own.
We aim to ensure that each child’s needs are met and matched as closely as possible, we use the following selection criteria:
- Previous employment or experience in children’s services – paid or unpaid.
- Applicants with particular skills and experience in specific areas as learning difficulties, medical problems etc.
- Applicants who show a willingness to work towards meeting care standards for fostering.
- Applicants with experience of the previous fostering and/or close involvement with someone who has already fostered.
- An ability to reflect on life experiences and to mature through them.
- An ability to see beyond children’s behaviour, and to link it to past trauma, where applicable
- An empathy for and natural ability to nurture children traumatised by separation from their birth families.
- Applicants able to accept teenagers
- Applicants comfortable with parents visiting their home.
- If living with a partner/ spouse, the relationship should be established and secure.
The training you will receive will include:
- Safer Caring Including Preventing Allegations against the carers and adopters
- Promoting Positive Behaviour
- Attachment, Loss and Separation
- Understanding Difference and Diversity
- First Aid
- Working with children and Young People with Mental Health Issues, Special Needs including ADHD & Autism
- Working with children and Young People who have been abused
- Self-Harming and Sexualised Behaviour
- Child Sexual Exploitation
- Educational Needs of Children and Young People
- Drugs and Alcohol Issues & Gang Culture
- Core Sexual Health
Download – Guide to Fostering a child
We would welcome the opportunity to help you learn more about fostering a child and joining our agency.
Please, therefore, find a full guide to Becoming a Foster Carer below. Please click on the link below to download a copy.If you should like any additional information on the assessment process and what is involved, please let us know.Our recruitment team is also on hand to answer any questions you may have and we look forward to hearing from you.
Steps to become a foster carer
The process of becoming a foster carer is summarised below. Click each step for information to be displayed below. You will receive full support at all stages and help with anything you are unsure of.
Call us or complete an online enquiry form
Sunbeam will contact you for an initial discussion and arrange for an enquiry form to be completed over the phone or online. If the enquiry is positive a worker will call you to book an appointment to come out and see you if you wish to proceed further with your enquiry.
A worker from Sunbeam will visit to discuss fostering with you further, to gather some background information about you and your family and to check you have appropriate bedroom space in your home and discuss any other Health & Safety related issues. At this point, you will be asked to provide photocopies of ID and some other documents and to sign a Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) check consent form. If the visit is positive application form can be completed following the home visit or alternatively this can be completed later and send to us by post.
The assessment process sometimes called a ‘home study’ or ‘Form F’ essentially involves a review of your suitability to provide foster care. This will be undertaken by a skilled member of our staff and you will receive full support at all stages. As part of the process, you will be required to:
1. Provide references – both personal and employment
2. Undertake a medical check with your GP (paid for by us)
3. Consent to other checks with Local Authorities, schools or other agencies
You will receive specific training through a three day training course to prepare you to foster and to achieve “Skills to Foster”. Attending courses will also allow you to meet other carers, share experiences and learn more about foster care. For carers wishing to look after disabled or challenging children, additional training will be provided at this stage.
Following completion of your training and fostering assessment, the report will be submitted to an Independent Panel for approval recommendations to be made in terms of the numbers and ages of children that can be placed with you. You will be asked to attend the Panel with the social worker who completed your assessment.
The Agency decision maker will have the final decision regarding your approval. Once approved you will then be a registered carer with Sunbeam Fostering Agency, and be able to take “looked after children” and young people into your home and care for them. You will be allocated a Supervising Social Worker to help and support you.
The path to becoming a Foster Carer requires a commitment to the assessment process and our current foster carers would be happy to share their experiences of the assessment process.
To become a foster carer contact us today.
Words From Foster Carers
About becoming a foster parent
If you are a couple who have decided to become foster parents you would need to make sure that one of you is available at all times. This could be making sure that working hours don’t clash or maybe that one parent works while the other is home based to care for the foster child or children.
After this visit with you still wanting to go ahead and become a foster parent, you will be asked to fill in the official paperwork and this is where the serious application process begins.