The foster care assessment is one of the most essential parts of your journey towards becoming a successful foster carer. The fostering assessment process will be carried out by a qualified Social Worker who will assess your suitability to be a foster carer, using a document you will often hear referred to as the Form F (more on this later).
Fostering assessments are usually carried out in a three-stage process, and everyone who wants to become a foster carer will be supported through the same procedure.
Interested in learning more? We’ve got you covered. Here, we’ll dive into the three stages of the fostering assessment process, and even answer some underlying fostering assessment questions that may be on your mind.
Ready to hear the word ‘’fostering assessment’’ mentioned a lot?
How Does the Fostering Assessment Process Work?
Stage 1 of the Fostering Assessment Process
The first stage of the assessment includes the collection of information from various checks and references. These checks and references are necessary to ensure all foster carers are safe and suitable to care for vulnerable children. At Apple Fostering, we will talk to you about the checks and references we need to undertake when we first visit you, and will also discuss them as part of the assessment. With this, you will have plenty of opportunities to ask any foster assessment questions, and talk to us about any concerns that you may have.
Stage 2 of the Fostering Assessment Process
During the second stage of your assessment, your Social Worker will visit you regularly at home so they can really get to know you, your family, and the important people in your life.
At Apple Fostering, we value the importance of training. As part of your assessment, we will provide you with the training required to succeed. This training covers a wide range of topics in relation to children the Local Authority look after. It will also include the foster carer role, in order to provide you the information necessary that will really work in your favor.
When your social worker collects all of the information, they will write a detailed report (Form F). This report will make a recommendation about your suitability to foster and the age and number of children you could look after. You can read and comment on the report.
The whole fostering assessment process usually takes up to 4-6 months, but it all depends on your personal circumstances. We know that the assessment process may seem very lengthy. However, it is necessary so that we can build up a meaningful profile of you, your wider family, and the fostering environment you can offer. This will help us match our children with your approval as an Apple Fostering foster carer.
Don’t worry. If at any stage you or your family decide fostering is not for you, or for them, you can withdraw your application, and the process will stop.
Stage 3 of the Fostering Assessment Process
Upon finishing your foster care assessment, we will take your final report to our panel, who will discuss your application and make the final recommendation as to whether you become an approved foster carer or not. In most cases, we will invite you to join us in this meeting. We know that it can sound daunting, but both us and your social worker are always here to support you no matter what.
Foster Care Assessment As a Whole
Throughout the process, you will be asked a lot of personal foster assessment questions. We can assure you that this is not us being nosy, but instead, needing to understand what type of person you are. During the foster care assessment, you will be assigned a social worker who will look at whether you are suitable for becoming a foster carer, and if so, what type of child or young person you would best be suited to caring for.
In most cases, they will ask you for your reasons for fostering and your experience with children and childcare.
Fostering Assessment Home Visits
As part of the assessment, a social worker will visit you at home and meet with everyone in your immediate family. They will also look at your living arrangements.
Fostering Assessment Checks and References
We must carry out a series of checks on all prospective foster carers. These include DBS checks – Disclosure and Barring Service checks – (previously known as CRB checks), as well as checks with your employer if with children or vulnerable adults and local authority.
You will also have to undergo a health check with your GP. You must submit three personal references from referees, who will need to meet with the social worker to share their views about your suitability to be a carer.
Interested in Learning More About Foster Care?
We know that the assessment process is what most people fear when thinking about fostering. However, we can assure you that it really isn’t as big as people make it out to be. As long as you’re a good person, surrounded by good people, and have good intentions -we’ll notice.
We know that you may have a lot of fostering assessment questions. Or, that you may just want to find out all you can about the entire process. If so, feel free to get in touch with us on 02034320663 -we’re always happy to help.