Thinking of Fostering
What will happen once I am approved?
Once you are approved you will be asked to sign an agreement, which sets out what you can expect from us and what we expect of you. If you have been approved for short-term or respite placements you will probably not have to wait very long until a child or young person is placed with you.
Foster carers do not work alone. As a foster carer you will have regular contact with a social worker from the fostering team, who will be the worker for you and your family. Any child or young person placed with you will have their own social worker. Everyone works together in the best interests of the child.
Once a year your progress as a foster carer will be reviewed. The review is an opportunity for you and your social worker to identify any areas where you may need additional support and training. Your social worker will compile a report to be presented to the Fostering Panel for your re-approval each year.
We encourage all our foster carers to participate in the training we provide. We run induction training to cover emergency aid, health and safety, fire safety in the home and food hygiene. We also offer a variety of opportunities to attend other training events run by Children's Services or outside agencies. The fostering team will also encourage you to study for the NVQ Level 3 Award in Caring for Children and Young People and the Children's Workforce Development Council (CWDC), Training, Support and Development Standards for Foster Care.
In addition to this, there are a number of other ways we provide support to foster carers. Support currently consists of:
- Regular support groups and meetings so that you can meet up with other foster carers;
- A quarterly newsletter;
- Regular foster carer feedback meetings;
- A mentoring scheme, whereby new foster carers are matched to a more experienced foster carer, who can provide advice and support if needed.
Hartlepool fostering service is developing all of the time and we aim to do this in partnership with our foster carers.