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The Assessment Process

Information on the assessment process to becoming a foster carer.

Length of Assessment

We aim to complete your assessment within five months.  This may seem like a long time but we need to make sure that fostering is right for you and your family. It is important that you have all the information you need to begin to foster. You will be supported and guided along the way to help you succeed.

Assessment Stage

Information Evenings

We will invite you to an Information Evening. This is a chance for you to find out more about foster care and meet some experienced foster carers.

Visiting You

A social worker will arrange to visit you in your home. This will provide you with more details about foster care and give us more information about you.

Assessment and Training

A manager will decide whether you qualify for assessment and give you a social worker to complete the assessment.

You will need to attend our pre-approval training programme where you will learn more about being a foster carer. You will also get the chance to meet other people who are going through the assessment process and to talk to experienced foster carers.


You will complete an application form giving details about you and your personal circumstances.

We will carry out a number of checks including a:

  • police check to make sure that you don’t have any offences that will disqualify you from fostering
  • medical check to make sure that you don’t have any major health problems
  • other statutory checks for example, education, probation and safeguarding* (*this means checks to see if you have been involved with services within our responsibility for keeping children safe).

Social Worker Appointments

Your social worker will arrange regular appointments to meet with you. During these appointments your social worker will talk about the skills and qualities needed to be a foster carer and will explain how you will achieve these. You will cover a range of subjects relating to the needs, abilities, numbers and ages of children you could foster.

Your social worker will look at your childhood experiences and how this has shaped you as an adult.


Your social worker will take up personal and employer referees. They will meet with your children if you have them, whether they live in the family home or independently. Your social worker will also interview ex partners with whom you have shared childcare.


The information gathered in the assessment is written in a report. You will see the report and will be able to write your comments about it.

This report is presented to the Fostering Panel that will make a recommendation to the Agency Decision Maker about whether to approve you as a foster carer. You will be invited to attend the Fostering Panel with your social worker.


If you are not approved the reasons for this will be explained to you and the Agency Decision Maker will write to you.

When you are approved you are available for a child or a young person to be placed with you.  This may be quite quick or there may be a wait.

Contact Us

If you would like to find out more about the assessment process or any other aspect of becoming a foster carer please contact us.

  • Modified: Jan 3, 2014 10:03:19 AM