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How to become a foster carer

TommyThe first step to becoming a foster carer is to talk to us. You can call 0800 952 0707, email fostering@southwark.gov.uk  or come along to one of our regular information sessions.

The next one is Thursday 8 December 5.30pm - 7.30pm at The Albrighton Community Centre, 37 Albrighton Road SE22 8AH  

Thursday 26th January 2017 – Alleyns Head , Park Hall Road, West Dulwich SE21 8BW  5.30PM-7PM

Thursday 16th February 2017- Camberwell Library , 48 Camberwell Green, SE5 7AL  5PM-7PM

What happens next?

We arrange an initial appointment for an experienced social worker to visit you at home. They will talk to you about your background, skills and abilities and you will have a chance to ask questions. A decision is then made about whether to offer you a full assessment.

If you progress to the next stage you will need to complete an application form. We will take up references and make checks with the police, your local social services department, Ofsted and your previous employers. These checks are to ensure the safety of children and are government requirements.

After this is complete we assess your suitability to foster and make several visits to you and your family over a period of time. This is also an opportunity for you to learn more about what fostering involves.  You will be able to decide which groups of children you wish to be considered to foster, for example their age, gender, sibling groups or children with disabilities and if you want to do short or long term fostering. During this stage, we'll expect you to attend a four day preparation training course, for one day a week over four weeks.

The social worker assessing you will write a detailed report which you must agree is accurate. This is then presented to Southwark's Fostering Panel. The panel is made up of people who are experts in the fields of fostering, childcare, health and education. The panel members then decide whether to recommend that you become an approved foster carer.

Who can apply to be a foster carer in Southwark?

 You are eligible if you:

  • Have a genuine interest in the welfare of looked after children
  • Are flexible and have the ability to care for children with a range of different needs and ages
  • Have a spare bedroom
  • Have a non-smoking household
  • Are an adult over the age of 21
  • Live in or nearby Southwark
  • Are unemployed
  • If you are employed or self employed you need to have a very flexible work situation that will allow you to take and collect a child from school, attend all meetings and appointments to do with the child and be around full time in the school holidays.
  • Are single, married, living together or in a same sex relationship
  • Own your own home, rent privately or live in a council or housing association property. You must have a spare bedroom
  • Have indefinite leave to remain or full residency within the UK
  • Are financially secure (no significant rent/mortgage arrears or other debts).

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Fostering recruitment

Tel: 0800 952 0707



Contact us

Southwark Council
PO BOX 64529
London SE1P 5LX

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