Our assessment process is thorough as you would expect - it is our responsibility to ensure our carers will be a good match for our looked after children. We manage applications efficiently ensuring we keep people informed of the progress of their application. On average the process from initial interest to approval takes between 4 - 5 months. External checks have to be made so this is standard for most agencies.
Your own GP will need to complete a full medical which we pay for. This is a legal requirement for all applicants. If you have been seen, or are being seen by a consultant, we will ask for a consultant’s report. The reason why a medical is necessary, is so we can check you are fit and able to look after a child or young person. Many medical conditions such as diabetes or asthma would not prevent you from becoming a foster carer; again, it is necessary for you to be healthy and able to deal with the emotional and physical demands of fostering.
The medical check will cover areas such as your health background, lifestyle and general family medical history. It will include a physical examination as well as looking at your lifestyle such as your alcohol consumption and whether you smoke or not.
such as asthma, should not be placed in a smoking household Being disabled will not necessarily prevent you from being considered to foster. We recognise that adults with disabilities may have a unique perception and be sensitive to the challenges children in care confront – particularly if they have a disability or special needs.
Local Authority Checks
Checks will be made on all members of your household if they are aged 18 or over. This will include a DBS check (Disclosure and Barring Service). Your right to work in the UK will also be checked, as well as where you have lived and for how long - both within your local authority area, as well as outside of it.
A check will be made as to whether you, or any member of the household has been known to Children’s Social Care and, if yes, information will be obtained from the relevant social worker.If you have moved to the UK within the last 10 years, checks may also be conducted through Protecting Children and Uniting Families Across Borders.
Checks will be made on all members of your household should they be aged 18 or over. A DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check will be made to ascertain if you have any record of unprotected convictions, cautions, reprimands or warnings. Anyone involved with working with, or safeguarding children and/or vulnerable adults, has to be checked.
You cannot arrange a DBS check on yourself. This must be conducted on your behalf by an employer or recruiting agency. Once your application has been made, the DBS aims to complete 75% of all applications within 14 calendar days from receipt, and 90% of all applications within 28 calendar days from receipt. For your convenience, it is possible to monitor the progress of your application using the DBS tracking service.
Allocation to qualified social worker
Once the selection process starts, you will be allocated one of our social workers. They will support you through the process of arranging all the necessary statutory checks and references required. In summary they are: enhanced DBS, identity checks, references from referees, previous partner references (if applicable), medical assessment, enquiries to children’s social services, health & safety assessment and employment references.
Summary: 6 simple steps from application to approval
If you have made the decision that fostering is for you, that’s great news. You will have decided that you will be able to maintain the commitment and passion for helping a child/young person to reach their full potential. To make then process easier to keep in mind, we have divided into six simple steps.