Once you have completed the Training and completed your application form, you will proceed onto the next stage of the assessment which is called a ‘Form F assessment’. The main objective of the Form F assessment is to ensure that you have the relevant skills and have the capacity to safely care for a looked after child in your home. At the end of this process, which takes approximately four to six months to complete, the assessor completing the assessment has to feel confident in your skills and ability to foster.
The assessment process is broken down into two parts, stage one and stage two.
The agency is required to carry out a number of checks around your suitability to foster. These checks need to be completed and returned with a satisfactory outcome before proceeding onto stage two. The decision around your suitability to move onto stage two will be made by the agency within ten working days once all checks have been returned and completed.
Checks to be completed are as follows:
- DBS check (formally CRB) to be completed on all adults living in the household. This includes children over the age of eighteen and any other significant others that may visit the household or stay over on a regular basis
- Health checks, which is completed by your doctor and then passed onto our medical advisor who oversees these to ensure that you are medically fit to foster
- Local Authority checks (this will include previous Local Authorities that you have lived in over the last ten years)
- References which will be a combination of character and employers references. Interviews are also undertaken with birth children, family members, and even ex partners if it is relevant to your situation.
This part of the assessment will be undertaken by a qualified social worker who will visit your home for a minimum of eight visits, each visit being approximately two hours long. Stage 2 can run concurrently alongside stage one. This is at the discretion of the agency.
The social worker undertaking the assessment will be exploring the following areas:
- Life history
- Lifestyle, hobbies/ interests
- Current and significant past relationships
- Parenting style
- Motivation to foster
- Capacity to parent a looked after child
- Values on diversity and equality
Once your assessment has been completed the assessing social worker will share with you your assessment, which should reflect you and your lifestyle. You will need to sign this, to verify that the report is an accurate reflection of the discussions taken place. Due to confidentiality, we cannot share third party information such as references and any other supporting reports (unless permission is sought).