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The assessment process


The assessment process

Register interest and home visit

Recent Government changes have been implemented and we now follow a 2 stage assessment process:

Firstly once you have contacted us to enquire about fostering we discuss your interest, usually over the phone. We will then visit you at home to talk further about your interest in being a foster family


Stage One

At stage 1 of the process, we will:

  • ask you to undertake a medical assessment (normally via your GP and then the GP’s report will be commented upon by our medical adviser) – this will establish whether you are in a healthy & well position to be able to be a fostering family
  • ask you (and all adults living in the household) to complete an enhanced DBS check (Criminal convictions do not necessarily prevent you from fostering. Much depends on the seriousness of the offence, how long ago the crime was committed and how you have lived your life since. People who have convictions for violent or sexual offences against children cannot foster.)
  • ask you to sign a consent form to enable us to undertake statutory checks of your Local Authority (i.e. where you live)
  • check to see if your home is suitable to foster children in terms of health and safety (including regarding any pets that you may have)
  • ask you to provide 2 personal referees (non-family members)
  • ask you to attend our fostering preparation training (this will give you detailed insight into the role of the foster carer and enable us to get to know you and your suitability to foster)
  • ask you to complete a worksheet (this includes a brief profile of your family, your experience of caring and/or working for children, why you want to foster and your values, attitudes and outlook on life)
  • ask you to provide a suitable photograph of yourselves (and of your family where relevant).

Stage Two

At stage 2 of the process, we will:

  • obtain information about yourselves to enable us to determine that you can safely care for and promote the well-being of looked after children, including your personality; religion; your racial origin etc.; your employment; standard of living; leisure activity and interests; experience; skills and potential to care for a child placed with you.
  • interview members of your family, including those who will be able to offer you support.
  • take up (and, where appropriate, interview) additional references, e.g. employers, ex-partners, your children’s schools and Health Visitors.
  • ask you to undertake further home study via our Stage 2 worksheets, including a family tree, chronology, ecomap (your ‘support network’) and a typical ‘weekend in our home’ sheet.
  • Consider asking you to undertake additional training. All this information (and the information obtained at Stage 1 of the process) will be analysed with you and presented to the Fostering Panel. If their recommendation is that you should be approved, this will be sent to the ‘Agency Decision Maker”’ (a senior member of Children’s Services) who will make the final decision. You will be told of this decision as soon as possible and formally notified in writing. The whole process from the beginning of Stage One to the end of Stage Two will normally take no longer than eight months but is often completed in about six months.

The decision process

All this information (and the information obtained at Stage 1 of the process) will be analysed with you and presented to the Fostering Panel. If their recommendation is that you should be approved, this will be sent to the ‘Agency Decision Maker’ (a senior member of Children’s Services) who will make the final decision.

You will be told of this decision as soon as possible and formally notified in writing.


© 2017 The Rotherham Fostering Agency