Understanding the matching process

When you become an approved Foster Carer, our placements team will be in contact with you for an introduction call and to welcome you to Sunbeam. This is for you to know the team and understand the process when it comes to matching you with children.
Sunbeam has a dedicated Placement Team, which consists of a Team Manager and three Placement Officers. The Placement Team work effectively to offer well-matched placements and have full knowledge of carer’s availability and strengths. The team work closely with the Local Authority Commissioning Teams and have a proactive approach to each referral.

When it comes to matching, we consider so many different aspects to ensure you are the right carer to meet the needs of the child. This can depend on various things such as your location, age range, birth children or experience. Not only do we want the child to have the suitable carers, but we want to ensure the right child is matched to you and your family and ensure everyone feels comfortable and safe. As Sunbeam holds strong relationships across the country with local authorities, it maximises our placement opportunities and in turn ensures we remain the LA’s key choice for referrals.

When the team considers you for a placement, they will have an in-depth overview of the referral and work closely with your supervising social worker to decide if the referral is suitable. Our team will contact you and discuss the child/young person’s background covering key areas such as their health needs and any school or contact runs. After discussion, our team will securely send a copy of the referral to you for you to read through and raise any questions or queries you may have. Once all involved are in agreement, the team will liaise with the Local authority to propose the carers formally. The Local authority will then review information received and make an informed decision.

When our placements team considers you for a referral, you have the chance to read through the child’s information and background. If you don’t think that child is suitable for you and your family, or that you don’t have the skills or background to manage that child, then you have first right of refusal. Please don’t feel pressured to accept the first referral as we want to make sure the placement is successful.

The placements team create great relationships with our carers and will always keep in touch with you and keep you up to date with any referrals they consider you for. We want to make sure our carers feel valued and supported at all times and that all our placements make a positive impact on children’s lives.