The fostering process

We feel part of St Andrew’s Children’s Society very much and are proud to be fostering through them.

The fostering process

The fostering process has several stages and we’ll be with you every step of the way.

The first stage in the fostering process is to make an initial enquiry as is symbolised by this icon of a mobile phone

Contact us

The first stage of the fostering process is to contact us by phone, in writing, by email or via our website to make an initial enquiry about fostering in Scotland.

The second stage in the fostering process is to receive information as is symbolised by this icon of a document

Receive information

We’ll then send you some information about fostering through us as well as an Initial Enquiry Form.

If you’re still interested in fostering, complete and return this form to us so that we can arrange for a social worker to visit you in your home.

The third stage in the fostering process is to have an intial visit as is symbolised by this icon of a house

Initial visit

During this stage of the fostering process the social worker will tell you about fostering, the preparation and assessment process, the checks we carry out and about the agency.

You should be as honest as possible with us at this point so that we can be clear with you about what the challenges will be. You will also hear about the kinds of children who need foster care homes and we will ask you about your motivation and expectations.

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Preparation group

Our job is to give you a lot of information about foster care, particularly about the sorts of children who are in the local authority care system and who we need foster care families for.

You have a crucial role to play at this time. You are given a chance to take a very honest look at what you want out of fostering and what you can offer a child waiting to be fostered (all of whom have experienced loss, trauma and possible abuse).

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This is the assessment process to become a foster carer and takes around 6 months to complete.

The homestudy looks at: your personal history, relationships, support network, motivation to foster, parenting capacity, your understanding of foster care and the kinds of children who need to be fostered, what accommodation you are able to offer, how you manage your finances and what financial support we will offer you. There are statutory checks that we will conduct, including a police check, local authority checks, medicals checks through your GP and personal references from employers, friends and those who know you well.

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Approval panel

The report from your homestudy goes to the agency’s Foster Care Panel for consideration.

The panel will meet with you to check that all the information written in your Assessment Report is correct as well as to hear from you about what you can offer children and what you hope the rewards for you will be. The panel will then recommend whether you should be approved as a foster carer. The Agency Decision Maker then makes a final decision based on your report, the information received at panel and the panel’s recommendation.

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Looking for the right child for you to foster

Unlike local authority foster carer services we do not confine our search to finding the right child for you to one local authority area.

We will search across Scotland to get the right child that best suits you and your family.

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Linking and matching

When a potential match has been found, social workers involved will attend a Linking Meeting to explore the potential match and what supports may be needed.

A recommendation is made about the suitability of the match. If this is positive you will have a series of introductory meetings with the child before the decision is made to move the child into your home.

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The legal context of fostering

Children who are in foster care are legally protected and safeguarded by the local authority that places them with you.

The legal context for children can vary depending on their needs and full information will be given to you when there is potential for a child to move into your home.

Take the next step now!

One of our social workers will then contact you.

Alternatively, please call us on 0131 454 3370 (if you live within 60 miles of Edinburgh) or 01224 878 158 (if you live within 60 miles of Aberdeen or Elgin) or email and we’ll send you an enquiry form to complete and return.

If you have any questions or are unsure if you can adopt or foster through us, please contact us anyway using the details above to speak with one of our social workers.

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