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A guide to fostering assessments

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If you’re interested in fostering and want to find out more about the process involved, you may be aware of fostering assessments. Fostering assessments are there to make sure that fostering families are able to provide a safe, suitable and loving home.

It’s understandable if you’re interested in fostering that you might be feeling a bit anxious about the assessment process. This guide will explain the different types of assessments that are carried out during the fostering process and explain exactly what happens so you can be prepared and have nothing to worry about.  

What is a fostering assessment?

A fostering assessment, otherwise known as the Form F assessment, is a series of questions to assess if fostering is right for you. You’ll be required to give personal info about your circumstances and health and give references. You’ll also be asked detailed questions about you and your family so that the social worker can get to know you and your personality. The purpose of this is to understand how suitable you are for fostering. As part of the assessment, social workers will visit your home and you could be invited to meetings to discuss your assessment too.

How long does the assessment take?

The fostering assessment takes between 4-6 months to process. This might seem like a long time, but because a child’s well-being is central to the assessment it’s important that potential foster carers are reviewed properly. After your first home visit, you’ll be assessed across spaced-out meetings with your assessor and social worker. The more readily available you are for home visits the faster the process is likely to be for you.

As well as the standard fostering assessment, also known as the Form F assessment. Here at Capstone, we carry out three different types of fostering assessment. The type of fostering assessment that you’ll be required to take will depend on the level of experience you have in fostering, or if you need any extra help to become a foster carer.

Streamlined fostering assessment

Streamlined fostering assessments are a fast track through the fostering assessments, this is typically for foster carers who are transferring from another agency or who are able to dedicate more time to a more streamlined assessment while still meeting all statutory requirements.  

Nurturing fostering assessment

A nurturing fostering assessment is a type of fostering assessment that we provide for people who are really interested in fostering but perhaps need a bit more support to understand exactly what fostering is. We’ll start the usual background checks, but we won’t contact a social worker immediately. Instead, we’ll supply you with plenty of resources and training to help you better understand what fostering entails and help to make the decision on whether fostering is the right career for you.

Topics to prepare yourself for

As part of the fostering process, you’ll be asked a range of questions, most of these will be practical questions or questions about your circumstances so you won’t need to revise your answers. It’s also important to remember that the Form F assessment isn’t designed to catch you out – it’s designed to help us get to know you better.

Some of the typical topics include;

  • Your own upbringing, place in the family and how your childhood was like
  • Relationship history and personal information
  • Assessment of your home, who lives with you and if you have any pets
  • Understanding your general level of health
  • Questions surrounding your personality, hobbies and religious beliefs
  • Questions surrounding your cultural background and any languages you speak
  • If you have any transferable skills for fostering
  • Employment history

What else to expect

During your assessment, you’ll also have various checks. You’ll need to provide references from your previous employers. You’ll also need a medical check from your GP, the cost of which is covered by Capstone Foster Care. You’ll also need a DBS check and we’ll need to check your criminal record. Other safety checks include making sure your gas and electric safety certificates are valid and in date.  

Once you’ve been approved, there are various different types of foster care you could be asked to consider. This could include long-term or short-term foster care, it could also include therapeutic foster care. As a foster carer with Capstone, we’ll provide you with all the training you need to care for your foster child.

Ready to apply for your career in foster care? Learn more about how to apply to become a foster parent now. Alternatively, if you want to know more about fostering pay or advice on how much foster parents get paid, contact Capstone Foster Care on 0800 012 4004.

Thinking of fostering?

If you’ve got any questions or would like to find out more about fostering with Capstone, fill out the form below.
An experienced fostering advisor from your local area will then be in touch.

The information you provide will be used to respond to the enquiry you have submitted, for further information please refer to our privacy policy.

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