We follow a clear procedure for recruiting our foster parents and our recruitment process is often much quicker than the 8 months from application to approval required by legislation.
Our dedicated fostering advisor requests basic information from potential foster parents, answers any preliminary queries they may have about fostering and distributes literature about the work of the agency.
An initial fostering advice visit takes place in the home of the prospective foster parent(s) with one of our fostering advisors. 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 parents must attend preparation training during their assessment. Our training provides applicants with information about the responsibilities of being a foster parent and working with Mosaic Foster Care.
Potential foster parents 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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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 farents with Mosaic Foster Care.
The Director of the fostering agency is designated as agency decision maker. The agency decision maker reads and considers all the assessment information and takes into account the panel recommendation and makes 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 parents is held on file and some sections are available to view on request.