Coronavirus - Changes to fostering service

In light of recent government advice about the coronavirus (COVID-19), we have adapted our fostering service to ensure the safety of our residents, while continuing to support our current carers and those looking to start their foster carer journey.

Foster carer recruitment process

To meet government guidelines on social distancing, we have adapted our process of recruiting new carers slightly, so we can still offer the same supportive fostering journey while keeping you safe.

The process of becoming a foster carer takes around 4 months, and our team will be there to offer help and guidance throughout your fostering career.

Basic information gathering and welcome to fostering

  • We receive your expression of interest
  • One of our friendly team will call you to explain the assessment and how it will be progressed
  • You will be invited to our virtual coffee morning or information evening.

Stage 1 - Assessment

Step 1

  • Complete virtual preparation sessions 1-6
  • We will do a virtual home tour
  • Complete and return an application form
  • Complete and return a self-assessment form
  • Provide details of your references.

Step 2

  • You will receive an email about which documents to provide for a DBS check
  • We will do a medical check
  • We will do local authority checks
  • We will contact your references and do a virtual visit.

Stage 2 - Assessment

Step 1

After stage 1 has been completed, there will be a discussion with a manager to progress to stage 2.

  • If your application is not going to be progressed, we will confirm this in writing
  • If your application is progressed, you will do a number of virtual assessment sessions and preparation session 7 will be completed virtually.

Step 2

  • Home visits will be conducted where possible, including health and safety checks and pet assessments
  • We will do a draft assessment
  • Fostering panel considers the assessment and makes recommendation
  • Agency decision maker considers recommendation.

How to contact the fostering team

Whether you want to discuss becoming a foster carer or you're a current foster carer needing additional support, our team is here to help you. You can contact us:

  • By telephone - call 01942 487200. You will be greeted with a voicemail option, please leave a short message stating your name, contact number and why you are ringing us
  • By completing our online enquiry form.

We check our voicemail and inbox regularly, and aim to respond to your query within 1 working day.

If you are a current foster carer, you can contact your social worker directly. If you don’t have their contact details, please call us on the number above and leave a message - we will get back to you.

Support for current foster carers

During the COVID-19 pandemic, we aim to ensure all of our foster carers have access to the support they need from our team. This includes:

  • Every household has been risk assessed so that the multi-agency team involved with each placement have a clear understanding of the needs in that home
  • Tailored support is being provided through home visits, telephone calls and video calls as much as is needed by the child’s social worker and the fostering supervising social worker
  • The social work team are working closely with the virtual school team to ensure children who would benefit from accessing school or additional learning opportunities are able to do so
  • The Atom outreach team are continuing to support placements including providing access to activities and additional emotional support for children
  • Wigan Youth Zone are offering sessions to our children including access to arts, dance, exercise, walks, sports and gaming sessions
  • Youth work is being done in the community including therapeutic intervention sessions to support foster families
  • Our Virtual School Team are sending out updates about online learning events to children and young people
  • Our fostering team are sending out weekly newsletters to keep carers up to date with new opportunities, highlight the support and information on offer and maintain a strong link between our staff and the carers.

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