Our first thought about applying to foster through Little Acorns was initially about the support from all the team and the foster carers already with placements.
Firstly we saw an advert by LAF on social media. We read the website and found it to be informative with direction. Within a few days I called LAF, Cheryl made arrangements with me to pop out for an informal chat about the process. This was a really good approach because we were not pressured, we asked questions and gained answers there and then.
There was an assessment made about us which was in depth and at times felt a little intrusive, but quite rightly, so as caring for children in care is a big responsibility and the team had to ensure we were able to undertake the role. We enjoyed the process and went with the flow. We were very open and enjoyed meeting the new people coming into our lives.
They will want to know everything about you, your partner and ex partners, close family, extended family, education, where you have lived and worked, childhood and finances it goes on and on but to be honest LAF help you all the way and even remind you when you should be completing paperwork so that the delays are kept to a minimum. Even if you get stuck with how to answer a question they will be there for you, you are not alone as you will be allocated you own assessing social worker.
The paperwork can be a bit annoying at times but it is in everyone’s interest that it is completed fully and correctly, just go with it. When you think about it, this process is nothing to what some of the children may have had to live with, it Is a small price to pay in comparison.
The next stage is going to panel where you may be asked questions, this can make you feel a little nervous but it is exciting at the same time and it makes you feel special, your assessing social worker will also be with you to support, but to be honest it was ok.
We began some of our training at LAF before we were approved. The training is usually for 4 hours in between school runs with coffee breaks and lunch provided. The training is relevant and gentle without fear. The trainers are extremely experienced and friendly.
You are allowed to say the age group of child you would prefer as it is in everyone’s interest to work towards a successful placement.
We have found fostering to be rewarding and interesting.
You have to have an open mind and be none judgemental; the support network that LAF offers around you is quite remarkable and much appreciated. This is not only for foster parents but for the child placed as well. The agency run activities and this gives us carers a break from time to time!
Ask as many questions as you can, talk to the other foster parents enjoy the training and good luck with the process!
Foster Carers for Little Acorns