Enquiries will be undertaken on all those living in your household who are over 18 years of age, including any child of the applicants who is not living at home but who will have significant contact with any child placed.
These checks will determine whether there have been any concerns about you or a member of your family in relation to children.
You will need to provide the Agency with three personal referees who will support your application. These referees should not be related to you or each other. They need to be people who know you and your family well so it is best not to suggest your GP, or other people known to you in a professional capacity unless thy are also personal friends. These referees will be asked to provide written references and each will be interviewed.
In accordance with the Fostering Services Regulations 2011 you will be required to undergo a medical examination, the fee for which will be covered by Caritas Care.
Particularly where you are employed in child care or working with vulnerable adults. Employers’ references will be obtained from every employer in respect of grievances or any disciplinary action undertaken.
Where either applicant has parented children with a previous partner it may be necessary for the agency to interview them.
All new applicants are required to complete this initial training as part of the assessment process. This provides applicants with the opportunity to find out more about the fostering task.
If you own a dog, we will ask you to arrange for an independent dog assessment. This is to determine whether your dog would pose any risks to children and if so, the assessment will advise how these can be addressed safely. We will meet the costs of this assessment.
A full examination of your home, outdoor areas and transport used will be undertaken to identify any potential risks factors and how these can be addressed to make your home environment safer.
If you have children already, they will be included in the assessment; we need to be confident that they are also ready to be part of a fostering family.
This is your assessment and within this we will explore what makes you the person that you are and what skills you have that would be relevant to fostering. We will also explore the number and ages of children you feel able to care for and explore how you will be able to meet their needs.
This is the assessment report which brings together all of the information from the assessment.
The preparation of your application will usually be completed with 8 months from making your formal application; sometimes this may take longer depending upon your circumstances but we will aim to complete your assessment in as short a period of time as possible. If problems arise during the assessment which leads us to believe that you may not be suitable to foster and we may not be able to proceed, we will discuss this with you at the time.
When the assessment report is completed and all enquiries are undertaken your application will be presented to the Agency’s Foster Care Panel. You will then be informed in writing of the Agency Decision and the type and number of children or young people that you will be able to foster. You will be able to read your assessment report before it is presented to the Panel and make any comments you wish. You will be invited to attend Panel when your application is being considered and will be supported in this process by your social worker.
When you become approved as a foster carer, we will then start to consider the profiles of children who are referred to us for a potential placement with your family. Some foster carers have to wait a while for placement, this is nothing to worry about; it just means that we want to identify the best placement possible as this is in everyone’s best interests.