Are you Interested in Fostering? Contact us on 0808 284 0199 or contact us here

thumb image

Fostering

Are you thinking of becoming a foster carer?

We are always looking for new and experienced foster carers to join our highly successful team because there are always children and young people out there who need the care and support of a stable family home, if sometimes only for a short time until they can return to their birth family.

The real satisfaction from being a foster carer comes from knowing that you can make a positive and permanent difference in the life of child or young person who needs help and that you are a fundamental part of the process which will lead to a better future for some of our most vulnerable children and young people. For this reason our objective is to concentrate entirely upon making foster placements work for everyone involved.

Archway Care requires prospective foster carers to be 21 years of age or over and not to have any birth children who are too young to speak; the youngest birth child needs to be able to communicate verbally.

You can be a married couple, living with partners or single, straight or gay, with or without birth children and of any race or culture. We only ask that couples need to be in an established relationship and living together for at least two years.

In return we offer excellent remuneration to ensure that you are financially rewarded for your valuable work and give you all the training and support you need.

Training and support

Archway Care recognises that our foster carers are our most valuable asset so we offer a full and comprehensive package of support and training which includes:

  • Initial induction training following approval
  • Ongoing training sessions to enhance and develop skills
  • Specialist training where needed
  • Assistance with the statutory Training Support and Development Standards Work Book
  • Opportunities to study for a Diploma in Children and Workplace Development during your first three years of fostering with Archway Care.
  • Regular supervision sessions from a qualified supervising social worker
  • Access to all Archway Care policies and procedures
  • 24/7 social work support including out of hours provision
  • 14 nights paid respite per year (or an agreed equivalent alternative)
  • Our foster carer forum
  • Sessional worker support (where appropriate)
  • An education advisory service
  • Access to clinical psychologist support
  • Advice from our internet safety group
  • Drug and alcohol support services
  • Sexual health and relationship support
  • Free membership of Foster Talk (www.fostertalk.org)
We need foster carers to provide:
  • A spare room to care for a child and young person in need
  • A child-centered approach to caring for children and young people who are hard to place
  • The ability and time to care for a child or young person who can’t be at school at any time
  • Care for children and young people who may display challenging behaviour
  • An ongoing commitment to training and development
  • An ability to work in partnership with agencies involved in the care of children and young people
Initial Home Visit

Applicants are visited in their own family home by an experienced member of our team to assess their suitability before continuing with their application. This meeting is called an Initial Visit, or IV. During the IV Archway Care’s assessment process will be explained in depth. The IV builds upon conversations you will have already had with our advisers. It is an opportunity to share information and for both of us to ask questions and talk in greater detail. Our IVs are always completed by an experienced member of our team.

We understand that in the majority of cases people won’t have experienced a visit like this before
and we also appreciate that speaking about your private life and personal circumstances to someone
you have never met before can feel uncomfortable, but we need to find out as much as possible about you and your family to make sure that fostering is right for you and so we can make an informed judgement about how likely it is that you will be approved as a foster carer after a full fostering assessment. The IV is also an opportunity for you to freely discuss anything you like including any concerns you may have about fostering so that you feel confident in pursuing your plan to become a foster carer.

If you have birth children at home we would like to meet them too as part of the IV. We would also
like to speak to any other members of the family living within the home, either with you there or
individually, as appropriate. This will give us an opportunity to get to know all of you as a family
group and also provide an opportunity for all family members to ask questions.

On a more general level, and to get an idea of your home life, the sort of topics you can expect us to talk to you about include:

  • Your day-to-day routines
  • How you and your family enjoy your spare time
  • Each family member’s role within the home
  • Any weekly or other commitments you might have
  • The occasions you celebrate
  • Your extended family and friends
  • Your pets
  • Your current understanding of the role of a foster carer

The full fostering assessment also incorporates a number of formal background checks so we will gather information from you during the IV which we will allow us to activate them. However, we won’t actually do them until you move on to the next stage of becoming a foster carer. You won’t have to pay for any of these checks and we will always do the following:

  • A DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check and, if appropriate, a relevant overseas criminal record check
  • A health and safety check to make sure your home is suitable
  • A local authority check which ascertains whether or not you have had any involvement with relevant departments at your local authority in the past
  • A full medical history and medical report to ensure that you’re health is up to the stresses and strains of fostering
  • Take references from three appropriate referees
  • Contact any ex-partners if together you have shared the parenting of children. (We know this can be a difficult requirement for some applicants so it will be fully discussed with you at the IV.)
  • Financial checks to make sure that the household is financially stable.
What happens after the IV

Following the IV, and within ten working days, we will let you know if your application will be taken further. If we decide we would like you to go on to the next stage you will need to fill out an application form; we are more than happy to support you during this process. Once we have received the form back from you, we will initiate the checks mentioned above and identify a social worker to initiate the formal fostering assessment process with you. If we decide not to proceed with you, we will make contact with you and fully discuss why we have reached that decision.

Contact us for more information

If you would like more information about becoming a foster carer please telephone our office, email us, or submit your interest by completing our contact form here.

Further information on fostering can also be found in our prospectus Information for Prospective Foster Carer(s).