Fostering Assessment Process
Firstly, thank you for taking the time to consider fostering. There’s currently a huge shortage of foster carers in the UK. Whether you are thinking of fostering for a long or short period of time, your help is very much appreciated.
At Cuffe and Lacey, we aim to make the assessment process as simple as possible. We will assign you a dedicated social worker who will take you through the process and be with you every step of the way. We like to think positively, and have a very can do attitude. We will always work with you to accommodate your needs and make sure fostering works for you and your family.
As with all fostering organisations, we will complete the relevant checks to ensure you will be able to offer a safe, loving home. You can learn more about the fostering assessment process on the video below.
Learn about the Fostering Assessment Process
How Long Does the Process Take?
A fostering assessment on average takes around 4 months to complete. This depends on lots of different factors, such as how long references take to come back. We will also work with you to discuss how best you’d like to complete your sessions.
If you are a transferring carer, the process is likely to be quicker. You can get in touch with us for further details.
The first stage of the process is completing our application form. You should have received this with your information guide.
We will need all of the information inside. You can complete the application form and post back to us, or give us a ring if you’d prefer that we come out and see you first (initial visit).
One of our Supervising Social Workers will come out to visit you and talk with you about fostering.
They might have a look around your home to make sure you have a suitable bedroom, and see if there’s any health and safety features you might need to think about. After this visit, we will let you know if we’re able to begin your assessment.
Beginning the Assessment
During your assessment you will have a dedicated Supervising Social Worker, who will work with you to complete a Form F Assessment. This will include visits to you,. Your Form F will include:
- Exploration of your life experiences, including your childhood, past relationships and any significant events.
- Collecting references from your friends and employers
- A medical check from your GP
- Other checks with Local Authorities, schools or other agencies.
- An Enhanced DBS Check
Skills to Foster Training
You will be invited to attend the Skills to Foster training. All foster carers need to complete this before they are approved to look after children. The course will usually be 3 days long.
Here you will meet other carers, be able to ask questions and learn a lot about the fostering experience.
Exciting, the day of panel has arrived! Panel will be made up of a group of professionals who have relevant experience. They might be teachers, social workers or have care experience.
They will discuss your application with you and your Supervising Social Worker and make a recommendation as to whether you should be approved.
Decision from Agency Decision Maker
The Agency Decision Marker holds the final say on approval of Foster Carers. They will look at all paperwork, the panel recommendations, and make the final decision to approve.
After their decision has been made, you will receive a letter to confirm that you have been approved. Congratulations – it’s time for your journey as a foster carer to begin!
Approval and Beyond
As soon as you are approved, you are able to look after children. We will assign a Supervising Social Worker who will support you throughout, especially for your first placement!
There will be a number of training programs you will attend in your first year as well as supervision and chances to meet other foster carers.