The decision to pick up the phone and make your first fostering enquiry can be one that takes months, or even years of thought and deliberation to get to. Many first-time enquirers we speak to are nervous, as this is the first step of a life changing journey! To help ease those nerves, we wanted to lay out exactly what is involved in those early stages of the fostering journey, so you know exactly what to expect.
After you first make an enquiry on our website, a friendly member of our enquiry team will call you back with the objective of assessing your basic eligibility to foster and answering any questions you might have at this stage, before we can ideally move you forward to a virtual home visit.
The Initial Enquiry
We’ll begin by finding out some personal details about you, your home and your partner (if you’ll be fostering as a member of a couple.) At this stage, we’ll want to find out some basic information that would impact a child you’d care for, such as where you live, whether you drive and have access to a car, and who else lives in the house with you.
We’d also speak to you about your home and living situation. While it doesn’t matter whether you own or rent your home, we would need to ensure that you have a stable home situation with no risk of eviction. We’d then discuss your home layout, what bedrooms everyone who lives in the home sleeps in and whether you had a suitable spare bedroom that would be used for fostering.
Some of the questions we’ll ask you may seem intrusive, but there is good reason for everything we’re looking to learn about you at this stage. We’ll ask a few simple questions about your relationship status, your health, and your occupation. We’ll also explore your motivations to foster, including any experience you have of childcare and transferable skills you’ve gained from employment or training. All this information helps us to get an idea of whether you can provide a safe, healthy, suitable home for a child in care. We want to make sure that not only will the young person be cared for, but that fostering won’t have adverse effects on you or your family.
This conversation will help us to build up a picture of you and your family’s suitability to foster and ensure that you meet the basic eligibility. Throughout the enquiry process, you’ll have the opportunity to ask questions and find out more about TACT & becoming a foster carer. At this early stage of your journey, it’s important that not only we learn more about you to make sure you’ll be eligible to foster, but that you learn more about us and ensure that fostering a young person is something you want to proceed with.
“We filled in our details online and the very next day we got a call. From there on, it was an efficient and smooth process to get us to panel. It did feel rather intrusive at times, however we knew that there are good reasons why the process is in-depth.” – Ronda & Rod, TACT Scotland foster carers.
What happens next?
The initial enquiry takes around 30 minutes on average but can vary depending on the information that is shared between yourself and TACT. If everything sounds positive to both parties, we’d look to move you forward to the next stage, the virtual home visit. Our lovely enquiry team will discuss with you how this works and will arrange it at a time and date that suits you! You can find out more about all the stages of the fostering journey here.
We understand it’s a huge step to make when you start your fostering journey and make that first enquiry, but we’re here to guide you through every step of the way.