Applying to Foster

The process of becoming a foster carer can take several months as you go through the application, assessment and approval stages. The family placement team will take you through every step and will give you support, advice and guidance throughout the whole process.The process of becoming a foster carer can take several months as you go through the application, assessment and approval stages. The family placement team will take you through every step and will give you support, advice and guidance throughout the whole process.

Step 1

Fill in the online form, give us a call on 01383 602235 or email SW.FP-FostDuty@fife.gov.uk. We will contact you and answer any questions that you might want to ask and will send you an information pack.

Step 2

We will arrange to visit you in your home and discuss the process in detail. We will then invite you to a Fostering Preparation Training course along with other interested families. This is an important part of your journey and will give you an insight into the process of fostering and the opportunity to hear from other foster carers.

Step 3

You will complete an application form and we take up the following checks and references:

  • Four personal references
  • A full medical
  • Disclosure/PVG checks
  • School/nursery/health visitor check for any child already in the family
  • An additional reference from any previous significant partner
  • A reference from any adult children living elsewhere

At this point we start the formal process of the assessment.  The assessment is a two way process, in which we aim to give you information to prepare you for the complex task of fostering, and to help you decide if fostering is for you and your family. This process can take six months and involves all members of your family.

During the assessment we will be looking for the following skills and qualities:

  • An ability to communicate with children, their families and professionals
  • An awareness of child development, and an interest in the needs of looked after children
  • A willingness to work towards the social work plan for the child, including facilitation of contact and working with families
  • Flexibility
  • The ability to keep accurate records
  • A willingness to attend meetings, support groups and training sessions
  • An understanding of anti-discriminatory practice

For the safety and well-being of our children you should have no record of offences against children and be willing to declare any other offences. You should not own any dogs described in the Dangerous Dogs Act or other prohibited animals.

Step 4

At the end of the assessment period we prepare a full report containing the information you have given us. It will then be presented to our Fostering Panel who makes a recommendation to a Senior Social Work Manager who makes the final decision about your approval*.

*The Social Work Service reserves the right not to proceed with the assessment if information, or concerns that cannot be resolved arise.

Step 5

Once approved to foster, you could have a child placed with you immediately. It will depend on whether you are going to be a temporary, permanent, short break foster carer  and will also determine when you will start to receive your fee. See below for more details about the ways you can foster.