Whether you’re at the very start of your fostering journey and doing research before you make an initial enquiry, or whether you’re preparing to have an assessment soon, we understand that you may feel apprehensive about this step.
As you’d expect, the fostering assessment process involves an in-depth analysis, but it shouldn’t be intimidating or frightening. So, to help you feel more at ease when your own assessment approaches, today we’re going to outline how a foster care assessment works in a little more detail for you.
When Will Your NFA Foster Care Assessment Happen?
The foster care assessment is usually the third stage in an individual or couple’s foster care application journey (To read more about the other steps read our post on our 15 step process to becoming a foster carer).
Following an initial enquiry, which may happen over the telephone or in person, you will receive a fostering pack full of information to help you decide if fostering could be a good fit for you. Next you will be visited by one of our team who till talk to you in more detail about fostering and how it might impact on your lifestyle, as well as answering any questions you may have about the process.
If you decide to proceed, the next step is to complete a fostering application form. This will be followed by your fostering assessment.
What Is The Fostering Assessment Process?
Once we receive your form, we will allocate an assessor who will work with you and your family during the assessment process. They will visit you at your home on a number of occasions and work through your application with you, gathering information about your family life, your background and history including current and previous relationships.
We will identify any previous experience you have of looking after children or providing care. Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks will be carried out to confirm whether you have any previous cautions or convictions. The questions you are asked will be probing, but are designed to find out how fostering might impact on you and your family, so it’s important to answer fully and honestly. Your assessor will always try and make you feel as relaxed as possible. You will also be asked to provide the names of referees as part of this process, and these people will be contacted in relation to your application.
This process will help your assessor put together what is known as a Form F in relation to your application. This will pull the collected information together and you will have the opportunity to review your Form F before it is passed to the Fostering Panel. You will meet with the Panel to discuss your application and find out whether they will be recommending that your application is progressed. This gives you the opportunity to discuss with them your experiences, circumstances, and other details outlined in the form.
Do You Have Any More Reservations About The Assessment?
Hopefully, this post has helped you feel a little more relaxed about the fostering process as a whole and about any approaching assessment meetings you may have. If you’re unsure whether you could be suitable for fostering or you’ve been put off by what seemed like a scary process in the past, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us - we are always happy to answer questions to put any concerns you may have at ease.
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