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How To Become a Host Family

Training, Assessment & Approval Process
Training takes place over 6 weeks, one of these includes a day session which usually takes place on a Saturday. The training covers a wide range of topics. It is designed to give people a wider perspective about disability in addition to preparing families for Hosting. After the training, the assessment commences. The assessment process consists of 3-5 home visits lasting approximately 2 hours each.
The Assessment covers the following areas:
-       Personal profile of the applicant
-       Personal history and experience of the applicant
-       Current circumstances
-       Motivation & attitude toward Homesharing
-       Applicants expectation of Homesharing
-       What the prospective Host Families family have to offer, to include experience, lifestyle, skills, strengths, availability and accommodation
-       Safe Care
-       Support needs
In the case of an application by a couple the assessment meetings are planned to include;
-       at least one session with both applicants together
-       at least one session with each applicant alone
-       if applicable , at least one session with the applicants children
As part of the assessment the following are completed:
·         Garda vetting on all adults over 18 residing in the house
·         Three references for each applicant. Referees must have known the applicant/couple for over two years and not be related to them.
·         Medical Form completed by the GP (in the presence of the potential hosts)
·         A child protection check is carried out with the local HSE office
On the completion of the assessment & training the recommendation will go before an Approvals Panel.
The Approval Panel consists of;
Ø  The Host Families Team listed in Section 1
Ø  A HSE Fostering Social Worker
Ø  Head of Social Work – The Brothers of Charity Services
Ø  Head of Social Work & Family Services – Ability West
Applicants are informed in writing of the Approvals Panel’s decisions. Decisions can be appealed to an Independent Appeals Committee. Applicants will be made aware of the appeals procedure by their Social Worker or the Approvals Panel Chairperson. The process is outlined in the Good Practice Guidelines. Confidentiality is assured at all times.
The Matching Process
When the Host Family have been approved they are carefully matched with a child or adult. This can happen over a period of time in a variety of ways. Matching plans are decided by the 4 members of the Home Sharing Team in consultation (when necessary) with other relevant stakeholders such as the natural family, host family, key workers etc.
The Home Sharing Scheme takes into consideration a variety of issues when matching a person with an individual/family such as the age of the person, the level of disability, the host family’s accommodation i.e. wheelchair accessibility, personalities etc. The timeframe for introduction will be on an individual and person centred basis. Before the short breaks commence an agreement is signed by both families.