A-Z

A Guide to the Assessment Process

 What is an Assessment?

An assessment is to see if you are suitable to provide care for other people's children. It is a lengthy and personal piece of work, and will impact on and involve everyone who lives in your home.

The idea is that we work together to try and establish whether you meet the requirements to care for a child and whether it is the right time for you and your household to be fostering a child.

An assessment is also a learning process; it should enable us and yourselves to identify your family's skills and strengths, whilst giving you a realistic view about what it involves.

Together we gain a picture of your family and lifestyle which should help us to understand what it would be like for a child to live in your household.

We will produce a written report which you will have an opportunity to read and comment on. This report will then go to a panel of people for discussion. We prepare you and encourage you to attend the Panel if you wish.

The report needs to demonstrate that you're suitable to care for a child and that your home provides an appropriate environment.
 

How do you carry out the assessment?

The assessment process starts from the first discussion you have with the Fostering Service. It is divided into a number of steps:

Step 1: Information giving

At this stage we will take some basic information from you about yourself and your family and send you an information pack. If you decide to progress your interest further we will move to step 2.


Step 2: A visit from a Fostering Supervising Worker

A Fostering Supervising Worker will visit you at home to discuss your interest in Fostering and to see your accommodation. It's an important visit and gives you another opportunity to exchange information and to decide whether you wish to move to the next stage.

We will ask about what you and your family feel you have to offer a child and gather general information about your situation. It is usual for us to meet the other people living in your household at this stage.

All visits are arranged in advance, the meeting can last about two hours and the worker will always show you identification.

Following the visit the Fostering Supervising Worker will discuss your situation with their manager.


Step 3: Checking your suitability

We need to keep the children we place safe, therefore everyone who is involved in caring for children on behalf of Services for Children and Young People has to be carefully vetted.

With your permission, we will conduct checks on all adults who will be involved directly in the care of the child placed with you. We will contact a number of agencies, for example, Health, Education, the Police, NSPCC, Adults Services.  We also arrange for you to have a medical and request the names of two people to act as referees (non-relatives). If you have children in school we would want your permission to contact their schools.


Step 4: Training
If we agree to progress the assessment, you will be expected to attend a training course. Training is part of the assessment and the workers who do your training are expected to comment on your participation.

Training is offered during the day, and at other times in the evenings, to try and meet your requirements as much as possible.


Step 5 : Home Assessment

We aim to start your assessment alongside the training but this is not always the case. A Social Worker will carry out a number of visits to you, these are usually in your home but could be at the office if this is more appropriate.

This process will involve the whole household. A lot of personal information is gathered about your history to date and present circumstances which help us demonstrate what you can offer a child.

The home assessment stage consists of approximately eight visits as well as visits to your personal referees and preparation of the report.
 

Expectations of you

There is an expectation that you will be actively involved in the assessment and that you will be available for training and appointments with the worker who will do your assessment.

Everyone in the household has to be part of the assessment.

The process needs to be based on an open and honest dialogue.
 

Expectations of us

  • Our objective is to conduct the assessment in a way that promotes your involvement and doesn't discriminate against you.
  • We will agree at the start, a plan of appointments, and set a timescale for the assessment (usually about 12 weeks).
  • We will try to keep to the timescale. If it has to be extended, we will explain why.
  • You have the right to give us any comments about the assessment, dissatisfaction or otherwise.
  • The Fostering Supervising Worker will keep written records on your assessment which you can see.
  • The written report will be shown to you before being sent to the panel so your comments can be added and any factual inaccuracies altered.
  • All information shared is dealt with in a respectful and confidential manner.
Contact Information
Contact by Post

Tameside Fostering Service
Union Street
Hyde
SK14 1ND
Contact by Telephone
0161 368 8865
Contact by Fax
0161 368 8642