Recruiting foster carers in Essex and Suffolk

The recruitment and assessment process

We follow a clear procedure for recruiting our carers and our recruitment process is often much quicker than the 8 months from application to approval required by legislation.

We have our own dedicated recruitment co-ordinator who manages all our recruitment activity using the i-want-to-foster.com brand.

Our dedicated fostering advisor requests basic information from potential carers, answers any preliminary queries they may have about fostering and distributes literature about the work of the agency.

Starting the process – the initial fostering advise visit

An initial fostering advice visit takes place in the home of the prospective carer(s) with one of our Social Workers. Following the initial home visit, enquirers can choose to apply at that stage and commence stage one of the assessment process or choose to remain as enquirers until they have completed the information and preparation training.

Those who choose to make an application at this stage still complete the training but checks as described below can commence earlier. All prospective Foster Carers must attend preparation training during their assessment. Our training provides applicants with information about the responsibilities of being a Foster Carer and working with Mosaic Foster Care.

Potential Foster Carers who chose to apply complete an application form giving detailed information about themselves and their family and consent and enquiries to ascertain their suitability to foster.

Medical checkups are required

Applicants are required to have medical examinations completed by their GP to ensure that there are no underlying issues that may affect their ability to foster. Reports are made available to our Agency Medical Advisor for his/her comments.

Referees to your suitability

Applicants are asked to identify at least three personal referees who will provide written references and be interviewed as part of the assessment process. References from external agencies and personal references, which are provided in confidence, cannot be accessed without the consent of both the subject and relevant referee(s).

The assessment process

A qualified Social Worker will carry out an assessment (Stage 2), which requires full participation by the applicant(s). She/he will visit them at their home, generally on 6-8 occasions, to collect information about all members of the household and the applicants’ experience and skills in relation to fostering. This forms the basis of an assessment report.

Compiling your portfolio

During the assessment process, applicants are asked to compile a portfolio of written material giving examples of relevant experience, skills and competence. The assessment report takes into account the assessment of confidential references.

Presenting to the fostering panel

This information is then shared with the applicant(s) and presented to our Fostering Panel, to assist the decision making process. Applicants are expected to attend the panel meeting with their assessor.

Our Fostering Manager has an overview of the pre-panel process to ensure regulatory compliance and quality control of the assessment. The Panel makes recommendations about the suitability of applicants to be approved as Foster Carers with Mosaic Foster Care.

Both Directors of the fostering agency are designated as Agency decision makers. One of the Agency decision makers is allocated to those applications being heard at each panel and they read and consider all the assessment information and take into account the Panel recommendation and make the decision to approve applicants or not, taking into account the Hoffstetter guidelines.

Applicants are informed verbally (within 2 days) and in writing (within 5 working days) about the decision. All information obtained about prospective Foster Carers is held on file and some sections are available to view on request.

These include:

  • Verification of identity and personal history
  • Disclosure and Barring Service checks on all adult members of the household
  • Enquiries to Children’s Social Care Authorities and their Child Protection Registers
  • Enquiries to other agencies as necessary.