Assessment and Approval of foster carers

1. Pre-application

Applicant researches fostering and speaks with family and friends about the application.

2. Online Quiz

The applicant shares some basic information with Sparks Fostering on the free no-obligation quiz

3. Application

A Sparks Fostering manager supports applicants to complete application paperwork – this process can be completed within a few weeks if the applicants can dedicate several hours a week. Otherwise it will take a few months. 

4. Checks

Checks (such as police checks, local authority checks and references) will be requested as soon as the relevant information (and consent) has been inputted into the application paperwork. 

5. Social work interview

A qualified social worker is allocated to review the results of the checks, and the completed paperwork. The social worker interviews the applicants (over several sessions), verifies the references, and completes the assessment. This stage can take around 6 weeks. 

6. Fostering Panel

The assessment is presented to panel – a group of at least 5 experts from various sectors, who read the assessment and give a recommendation as to whether they feel that the applicants should be approved as foster carers. Panel would be within a month of completion of the assessment

7. Decision Making

The assessment and panel recommendation is presented to the agency decision maker, who calls the applicants within two working days and then writes to them within five working days to inform them of the decision.