A foster carer’s journey
Our foster carers tell us that fostering a dog improves their wellbeing and reduces feelings of loneliness. On top of that, they know that they're helping both a dog and a family to escape domestic abuse.
If you're interested in opening up your home and heart to a foster dog, our Freedom team will take you through the following steps...
Step 1: Application
To help us determine a suitable foster match for you, we will initially ask you to complete an application form. This form gives us an overview of your experience and type of home you can offer to a foster dog. This allows us to ensure we are able to continue with your application.
Step 2: Home Visit
Following your initial application, we will arrange to visit you at your home. Ideally, we would like to meet the whole family together at the visit including any other pets you may have.
The home visit is an opportunity for you to meet a Freedom Project team member who will be able to answer any queries or concerns you have and help you decide if this volunteering opportunity is right for you.
We will also discuss any other pets you may have, so we can ensure the foster dog is a suitable match for you and your pets. We will also want to ensure your existing pets will be happy sharing their home with a foster dog.
At the end of the home visit, we will ask you to sign up to our ‘Volunteer Foster Carer agreement’ which outlines your responsibilities as a foster carer and our obligations to you as a volunteer.
Step 3: References
Following the home visit, we will check your references and write to you to let you know if you have been successful in becoming a foster carer.
Step 4: Waiting for a match
Once we have confirmed you have been successful, you will automatically be added to our file of available foster carers. You don’t need to do anything else, unless you have any changes to your situation, in which case we ask that you notify us. Please be aware that it may take anything from a matter of days to up to several weeks before we are able to find you a suitable foster match. It may take longer if you already have children, existing pets or have additional requirements.
This is because we want to ensure we are matching the right dog to your home and family.
Step 5: Dog Offer
Once a dog has been referred to us, and we identify you as a suitable foster match for that dog, we will call you to check your availability and provide you with information about the dog. If you would like to go ahead with the placement, a member of the Freedom Project team will arrange to collect the dog from the owner and bring the dog directly to your home at an agreed time.
Step 6: Placement
On the day we bring your foster dog to you, we will bring all the equipment your foster dog needs throughout their stay, including:
– A collar with an ID tag
– Lead and, if required, harness
– Bed and bedding
– Poo bags
– Food and bowls
We will talk you through all the information you need to know about the foster dog, such as their usual routine and any training or medical needs they may have.