Become a Foster Carer
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 statutory 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:
- Applicants able to accept teenagers
- Applicants comfortable with parents visiting their home.
- An ability to reflect on life experiences and to mature through them.
- Previous employment or experience in children’s services – paid or unpaid.
- If living with a partner/ spouse, the relationship should be established and secure.
- Applicants who show a willingness to work towards meeting care standards for fostering.
- 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 with particular skills and experience in specific areas as learning difficulties, medical problems etc.
- Applicants with experience of the previous fostering and/or close involvement with someone who has already fostered.
The training you will receive will include:
- First Aid
- Core Sexual Health
- Child Sexual Exploitation
- Promoting Positive Behaviour
- Attachment, Loss and Separation
- Understanding Difference and Diversity
- Self-Harming and Sexualised Behaviour
- Drugs and Alcohol Issues & Gang Culture
- Educational Needs of Children and Young People
- Working with children and Young People who have been abused
- Safer Caring Including Preventing Allegations against the carers and adopters
- Working with children and Young People with Mental Health Issues, Special Needs including ADHD & Autism
Excellent care standard and support across the group. Our latest Ofsted report for London + South rated ‘Good’. Midlands rated ‘Good’ and Sunbeam Pride is ‘Good’ with no recommendation and improvement. We offered 1,000s placements and over 500 new placements made in the last 3 years. All our foster carers have 24-hour access to staff and support which is not just a promise but delivered 365 days per year. We offer a career path into social work and further national qualifications of fostering. Currently, we offer over 100 different trainings to our foster carers. Extensive information will be provided on fostering to help your approval process. Our strong focus on quality and better outcomes for children. Full support will be provided to you including a comprehensive induction to fostering once approved. Sunbeam Pride is sister registered agency in Luton and has the full support from the parent company, Sunbeam Fostering Agency, who have a proven track record. We have strong Local Authority relationships and secure many contracts to secure placements for you.
7 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.
Step 1: Make an enquiry
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.
Step 2: Initial home visit
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.
Step 3: Application form
Once this is completed and your application is accepted, a formal assessment will begin.
Step 4: Fostering assessment
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:
- Provide references – both personal and employment
- Undertake a medical check with your GP (paid for by us)
- Consent to other checks with Local Authorities, schools or other agencies
Step 5: Preparation training
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.
Step 6: Panel
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.
Step 7: Approval
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.