Foster carer assessment
Fostering Services Regulations 2002 prescribes the statutory framework for the assessment of prospective foster carers in the UK.
Amongst the requirements of this regulation are the needs to obtain the information as to the prospective foster carer and other members of their household and family, interview at least two personal referees nominated by the applicant and prepare written reports of the interviews.
Fostering agencies are required to prepare a written report, an assessment of the applicant’s suitability to act as a foster carer and the proposed terms and conditions of fostering approval.
On satisfactory completion of the assessment, the assessment report is shared with the applicant to make sure it is fair and accurate. The report will be presented to the Fostering Panel by the social worker who worked with the applicants.
The Panel is held at the Fostering Agency office and will consist of social workers, a foster carer and other independent and professional people. The applicants will be invited to attend and are very welcome.
The Panel process takes about an hour, providing the Panel recommends approval, the applicants will be registered as approved foster carers with the Fostering Agency within a few days. As approved foster carers, they will be able to start your fostering career.
The information required for the assessment of prospective foster carers must be gathered under Schedule 3 of the Fostering Services Regulations.
Following the initial visit and the decision to proceed, the Fostering Agency social worker will arrange to start the assessment.
The assessment will involve about ten home visits from the assessing social worker who will also visit the referees and any other relevant people.
By the end of the assessment applicants will be expected to show they can develop the following skills: • The ability to communicate with children, their families and professionals • An awareness of child development and the particular needs of foster children • A willingness to work with the care plan for the child including working with their families • Flexibility • The ability to keep accurate records • A willingness to attend meetings, support groups and training courses The home study is an enjoyable experience however it can be demanding and feel intrusive at times.
The report will include the carer’s full names address and date of birth, details of their health (supported by a medical report), personality, marital status and details of their current and any previous marriage or similar relationship also particulars of any other adult members of their household.
Information regarding applicants children in their family, living in their household, or not, their accommodation, religious persuasion and their capacity to care for a child from any particular religious persuasion, their racial origin, cultural and linguistic background and their capacity to care for a child from any particular origin or cultural or linguistic background.
Applicant’s past and present employment or occupation, standard of living and leisure activities, interests and their previous experience (if any) of caring for their own and other children, their skills, competence and potential relevant to their capacity to care effectively for a child placed with them.
The report will include any information about any request or application made by the potential foster carers or any other member of their household to foster or adopt children, or for registration for child minding or day care, including particulars of any previous approval or refusal of approval relating to them or to any other member of their household.
References are requested from at least two persons who will provide personal references for the prospective foster carers.
In relation to the prospective foster carers, their older children and any other people who will have significant contact with foster children an enhanced criminal record certificate will be undertaken along with other relevant checks.
It is of paramount importance to choose the right fostering agency, there are over seven hundred in the UK. Simply Fostering, the UK national foster carer recruitment website provides help by answering questions and identifying the most suitable local fostering agencies with vacancies.
Simply Fostering help people interested in becoming foster carers to act on the Government's advice to 'contact more than one Fostering Agency if you are interested in a fostering career'.
For comprehensive and easy to understand information, help and advice, contact Annette at Simply Fostering.