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What happens when I apply?

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We are proud to be part of the Foster East network. Foster East will inform us that you have made an enquiry, and we will contact you so that we can find out more about you and discuss all of the exciting options that you have available to you.

All enquiries now go through Foster East Network (From 28 May 2024). We will be updating the process below soon.

We are here to support you every step of the way, from first achieving your dream of becoming a foster carer to helping you to develop your skills so you can provide the best care for our most vulnerable children and young people in Peterborough.

Watch our staff and foster carers tell you more about our process and how you can start your journey as a foster carer.

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You can read more about the Six Steps to Fostering with us below.

The first step is to get in touch with us. Our friendly team will answer any questions that you may have and will advise you and keep you up to date throughout the process. To request more information, please make an enquiry.

We are proud to be part of the Foster East network. Foster East will inform us that you have made an enquiry, and we will contact you so that we can find out more about you and discuss all of the exciting options that you have available to you.

You can also talk to us about fostering by attending one of our information sessions or events.

Once you’ve got in touch with us and are ready to take the next step, we will arrange a home visit at a time that’s convenient for you so we can meet you and your family. This will be a great opportunity for you to ask any questions you may have, and to find out which type of fostering would be best for you.

You can find out more about the different types of fostering.

During the home visit, we will discuss with you whether now is the right time for you to go ahead. If we agree that you’re ready, we will invite you to apply to become a foster carer. 

While your assessment to become a foster carer is in progress, you will attend our Skill to Foster training programme, which takes place over four days. During this course, you will have the opportunity to meet with other applicants, care experienced young people, and our most skilled foster carers.

This is a safe and supportive environment which will allow you to explore what being a foster carer is like. Your assessing Social Worker will help you access other training such as e-learning and your training, support, and development standards, which you will complete in your first year of fostering.

We complete an assessment for all potential new foster carers, which involves us carrying out a number of background checks and gathering references. This is a very thorough and in-depth process, but it helps us get to know you, your strengths and your skills, which in turn enables us to find a match that is right for both you and for the child or young person in your care.

Your allocated fostering Social Worker will visit you regularly throughout your assessment to support you.

If you're a carer transferring to us from another agency, we can fast track your application – you can read more about this on our ‘Transferring to us’ webpage.

Your application will be presented to our local fostering panel. You will be asked to attend, along with your Social Worker, to answer any questions the panel may have.

A decision will then be made by the panel regarding your suitability to foster, and the age group and number of children you are approved to care for. Once this decision has been verified by our Agency Decision Maker, you will join our team of foster carers and start to change lives for our children and young people.

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Fostering has changed our lives and we have never looked back – we recommend it to everyone.

- Peterborough Foster Carer.

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We make sure that you continue to feel supported throughout your fostering journey, from your initial enquiry, through your first year of fostering, and beyond.

You can read more about the support we offer during each stage below.

After you submit your enquiry form, our dedicated recruitment team will call you to answer any questions that you may have. We will then organise a visit to your home so we can talk you through the assessment process and the training that you would need to complete.

We aim to complete the assessment process of your journey within four months and will make sure that you have all the skills and support you need to feel ready to welcome a child or young person into your home. During the assessment process we can tell you about the opportunities we have including becoming a Foster Carer Ambassador or Mentor for us – but we can tell you more about this during the assessment stage.

Our pledge to you in your first year of fostering is to welcome you into our local fostering community and provide you with the right support, at the right time, from the right professionals.

Once you have been approved, you will be assigned your own dedicated Supervising Social Worker, who will be a consistent source of support to you and your family and will make sure you have everything you need to flourish as a Foster Carer. You will also continue to receive support from your Foster Carer Mentor.

Our Next Steps programme will provide you with all the support you need in your first year of fostering.

The Next Steps programme includes:

  • An individualised training programme tailored to your needs, including protected time with your Social Worker to reflect on your learning
  • A Mentoring Scheme where we pair you with an experienced Foster Carer, who will be on hand to provide you with advice and guidance whenever you need it.
  • Introduction to a local support group, where you can share your experiences, have a cup of tea and chat with other Foster Carers
  • Access to a Social Worker to provide round-the-clock support for you and your family
  • Training to enhance your therapeutic parenting skills, such as PACE, Circle of Security and Foundations for Attachment, to help you provide excellent care to children who have experienced trauma and will require patience, understanding, compassion, and a listening ear

Following your first year of fostering, we will work alongside you to complete your Training, Support and Development Standards. We know how busy a day in the life of a Foster Carer can be, so we provide both face-to-face and virtual learning – plus, your Social Worker will make sure you have all the support you need.

We are also building our offer of membership to the National Association of Therapeutic Parents. Membership will provide you with additional support, education, and resources all aimed at helping you provide an excellent standard of care for our children and young people.

As soon as you are approved and have joined our local fostering community, you will also have the opportunity to join the Peterborough Foster Carer Committee (PFCC), which promotes the voice of Foster Carers. We want Foster Carers to work alongside us in everything that we do, from recruitment activity to training delivery, as we believe that their first-hand experience and expertise will give you the best understanding of what being a Foster Carer is all about.

To find out more about the PFCC, please email secretary Andrea Hughes.