We aim to ensure that each child’s needs are met and matched as closely as possible, we use the following selection criteria:
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.
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 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.
Sunbeam Fostering Agency has local offices around the country, and we continue to develop and maintain close, personal relationships with our carers and the local communities we support. We do our very best to make sure that every fostering experience inspires confidence and creates wonderful opportunities for the fostering a child and the fostering families.
We know that care is a community effort. That’s why we build excellent relationships with local authorities and the wider communities we serve. Together, we strive to meet the needs of foster carers and fostering a child, whatever the challenges these young people have faced in life so far.
Support is what keeps fostering working, and we’re dedicated to encouraging our amazing foster carers to grow with us. We support them totally so they can make real differences to a child’s life. Our unrivalled support and training is shaped by our carers and tailored to meet the needs of the children.
We are delighted that so many other dedicated individuals, couples and families have joined us throughout the years to make Sunbeam Fostering the outstanding agency, is today.
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.
Once this is completed formal assessment will begin.
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 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.
Rated Outstanding by Ofsted (London office)
Extensive information will be provided to you to assist your transfer
We have a strong focus on quality and better outcomes for children
Our organisation has been in operation for 14 years and we have developed an excellent reputation
We have strong Local Authority relationships
Our fostering allowances are competitive
You will have 24 hour access to staff and support for 365 days per year
We will develop a career path for you to develop new fostering skills
Promotion of equal opportunities for all
Comprehensive insurance will be provided for you to cover any wilful damage by foster children
Excellent training including online access
At Sunbeam we are proud of our standards and the support and training that we provide to our foster carers. We would welcome you to take the opportunity to speak to one of our existing foster carers to hear this first hand.
We have a good record in maintaining placements and this is due to excellent matching process at the placement stage and also that we seek to address any concerns quickly.
Many Local Authorities now have Framework Agreements (determined by a tendering process) and often Sunbeam will be in the top tier of these contracts to ensure that we receive strong referrals levels for placements.