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The Assessment Process

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Applying to become a foster carer

The journey to fostering is different for everyone.

It normally takes around 6 months to go through the approval process, although this largely depends on your personal circumstances. We’ll do everything we can to make it as straightforward and simple as possible, offering you all the support and guidance you need, every step of the way.

The application process

The application process will help you to decide whether fostering’s right for you. It’ll also give you a better understanding of the role and get you thinking about how fostering will affect your life.

You’ll complete seven stages in your journey to become a foster carer:

  • Initial Contact: After registering your interest with us, we’ll give you a call to chat about fostering and help you to think about whether it’s right for you. You’ll also be sent our information pack: ‘Start Your Journey’.
  • Home Visit: A fostering advisor will visit your home to answer any questions and explain how we work with and support foster carers. Hopefully, we will then be able to send you an application form.
  • Application Form: You’ll need to complete an application form, which gives us detailed information about you and your family, and also requests your consent for us to complete necessary checks and enquiries to determine your suitability to foster.
  • Checks: We’ll carry out criminal checks, enquiries to Tusla, a medical examination, financial checks, safety check, references and other enquiries as necessary before beginning the full assessment process.
  • Assessment: One of our social workers will be in touch to start your fostering assessment. They will visit your home between 6 and 10 times to collect information about you, your family and any skills and experience you have that will help you with fostering. This information will be put together into a full report.
  • Training: You’ll be invited to attend a preparation course that 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 as a foster carer. You’ll also complete a portfolio of written material giving examples of your relevant skills and experience.
  • Approval: After it has been completed, your Assessment Report will be shared with you and then presented to Tusla in your area for approval.

Supporting you

Don’t worry if the fostering process sounds a little daunting, we’re here to support you every step of the way.

The most important thing to remember is to be as open and honest as possible, and give answers that you believe in. Be yourself, raise any concerns as quickly as possible and always ask if there’s anything that you don’t understand or would like more information about.

If you have any questions about fostering, simply click here and get in touch.