The Assessment Process

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To ensure all foster children are placed into the safest and most suitable environment, all applicants must undergo a strict and rigorous assessment process before becoming a fully accredited Foster Carer.
 
Step 1 : Once you have completed and returned your application, a meeting will be put in place between yourself and a Qualified Social Worker. A home visit may also be arranged. This initial process is called a ‘screening visit’ and it acts as a two way discussion. This will determine whether you move to the next step.
 
Step 2: A Qualified Social Worker will be assigned to the assessment process. They will be responsible for producing a report on you and your home situation, called a form F. The report will cover your background, relationships and partnerships, support network, children in the household, other adult members of the household, childlessness/ limitation of family size, description of home life, valuing diversity and parenting capacity. Information regarding your financial situation will also be assessed.
 
Step 3: Your assigned Qualified Social Worker will need to visit you and your home a minimum of seven times. They will spend time with you, working on your form F assessment and report. This will document your suitability to become a Foster Carer. The process demands full participation from you and your family.
 
Step 4: A number of documentation and statutory checks are required as part of the process. This includes:
  • Enhanced criminal records bureau check / disclosure Scotland / PVG scheme.
  • NSPCC checks.
  • Local authority checks.
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    Employer and / or current fostering organisation / voluntary work references.
  • School / health visitor reports (on own children, if appropriate).
  • Medical reports.
  • References from all previous employment involving children and vulnerable adults.
  • Personal references /at least 2) who will also be visited by a Social Worker.
  • A general risk assessment of the foster home. A report will make recommendations aimed at improving safety.
  • Overseas checks (where applicable).
  • Ex-partners ( except in exceptional circumstance).
  • Children from previous relationships (age appropriate).
Step 5 : At some stage during the process you will be required to attend a 3 day training course. The course is part of the overall assessment. Trainers will produce feedback which will contribute to your overall suitability to foster.
 
Step 6 : Once your Form F is complete you will have the opportunity to review and discuss possible amendments. The report will then be presented in your presence to the fostering panel.
 
The fostering panel is made up of a variety of professionals and backgrounds including a Foster Career, a Social Worker and a person with experience of looked after children. The panel will ask you a series of questions relevant to the case.
 
Step 7 : The panel members will make their decision and recommendations based on the report and the evidence put forward. The final decision will be made by the collective. Upon approval we will advise in writing and assign a Supervising Social Worker to support you in the fostering task. We will then advise local authorities of your availability as a Foster Carer.
 

How Long Does The Process Take?

Between three to six months depending, on your availability during the assessment process.
 

I Have Been Approved And Am Ready To Foster, What Next?

Following a successful application – Making the correct decision on where to place a child is essential to their development. It’s therefore a delicate process which is clear in objective to pair the needs of
children and young people within the best possible environment.
 
Post Approval:
 
Step 1 : Local authorities approach the agency to enquire whether they have any available Foster Carers available to foster children and young people .
 
Step 2 : Our staff take all the necessary background checks on the child/young person. This is known as referral and is part of the process in matching a child/young person to a suitable foster family. The details of the referral are then passed on to a Qualified Social Worker to see if there is an appropriate match.
 
Step 3 : If an appropriate match is identified between the foster family and the child/young person, the agency will contact the Foster Carer to discuss the matter further. Foster Carers are under no obligation to accept any placement.
 

How Much Will I Be Told About The Children And Their Families?

The Local authority will give a brief description of the young person who has been referred by the local authority (excluding names). If you feel able to meet the child’s needs, your profile and assessment will be sent to the child’s Social Worker. If it is felt it is a good match you will be given more information and in some cases introductions will begin.
 

Do I Have A Say In Which Children I Care For?

Yes. During your assessment we will discuss with you the gender, age, ethnicity and behaviours ofchildren who would be suitable for your family. A child would never be placed without your agreement.
During this process you are encouraged to ask questions and decline the placement at any time.
 

What Are The Additional Responsibilities Of Being A Foster Carer?

There are a number of expectations other than caring for a child/ young person and meeting theirneeds. These include attending training sessions regularly, meeting your Supervising Social Worker and Child Social Services and keeping records and logs with regards to each child who is placed with you.