Understanding the Fostering Assessment
The fostering assessment is commonly known as your Form F Assessment; and all applicants must complete this before they can be approved as Foster Carers.
We often find that prospective Foster Carers find this part of their fostering application the most daunting. It’s very normal and natural to feel apprehensive about a fostering assessment – but there’s really no need to!
Whether you’re at the very start of your fostering journey and doing research before you make an initial enquiry; or you’re preparing for your first assessment, it’s understandable that you may feel nervous.
As you may expect, the fostering assessment process involves an in-depth analysis, but this shouldn’t make you feel anxious or intimidated. For many, it can be the fear of not knowing what to expect that they find scary or daunting. So, to help you feel more at ease when your own assessment approaches, this article will outline how a foster care assessment works in a little more detail for you.
When will your assessment happen?
When you choose to foster with Lorimer, the journey will be a co-operative learning process that will hopefully allow you to enjoy yourself, discover new things and make new friends. Your journey will consist of the seven stages you can find listed here.
Typically, your foster care assessment will take place on the fourth stage of your foster care application journey. Following your initial enquiry, you will receive all the information you need (be this over the phone, a physical information pack, or our very helpful on-line information-hub pages) to help you decide if fostering is a good fit for you. Following this, you will receive a call from one of our Social Workers to explore your enquiry; this may then be followed by a visit to your home. They wouldn’t just be assessing you; these conversations will also give you the chance to ask any questions you may have about the process.
We will take this opportunity to gather some basic information about you and your family; such as where you have lived and a brief summary of your life experiences. The main aim is for us to get a good feel for you and your home environment and also to give you an idea of life as a Foster Carer and what you can expect. If you decide to proceed, the next step is to complete and sign a fostering consent and application form. This is the point at which you ‘apply’ to foster and is when your fostering assessment will formally start.
What is the fostering assessment process?
If everything went well with your initial call and home visit and everyone is happy to proceed, you will be allocated an Assessing Social Worker who will undertake your assessment to become a Foster Carer. There are two stages to this process. The first stage will be about gathering references, medical checks, police checks and general safety checks. The second stage involves more in-depth checks and discussions about your family history. At Lorimer, we usually run both of these stages together, so we do not delay the process for you.
Your Assessing Social Worker will visit you at your home (usually about 6 to 8 times) and work through your application with you, gathering lots of information about things like your family life, your background and history and about current and previous relationships. Your assessor will always try and make you feel as relaxed and comfortable as possible. You will be asked to provide the names of referees as part of this process, and these people will be contacted in relation to your application.
Once all of this information is gathered, it’s put together in what is known as a Form F Report. This report gives people an insight into you and your family; there is not necessarily a right or wrong person that makes a Foster Carer, no-one is here to judge as everyone has had different life experiences. That is what makes people great Foster Carers! The best thing to do is to simply be honest.
You will have the opportunity to review your Form F. It will then be presented to the Fostering Panel (a group of people who have expertise in different aspects of fostering); they will discuss your application and will give a recommendation on your application.
Do you want to learn more about the fostering assessment process?
We want you to feel as relaxed as possible about understanding the fostering assessment process; so if you’re at all 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. Remember that if you are 21 or older, have a spare bedroom, and can offer a child a safe and loving environment; you will most likely make a great Foster Carer!
Get in Touch
If you’re ready to find out more; the staff here at Lorimer Fostering will work closely with you to decide what best suits you and your situation. You can contact us by leaving your details on the form below and we will call you back. Alternatively, you can call or WhatsApp Rachael on 07938 575 738 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.