Undertaking checks and references in fostering and adoption assessments
Publication date: 2017
The assessment of prospective foster carers and adopters is amongst the most important aspects of family placement work. Undertaking checks and references on applicants is a key part of these assessments, and a core task for social workers, to ensure the safe placement of vulnerable children. This comprehensive and necessary Good Practice Guide provides key information and guidance to help social workers carry out this vital task.
In all adoption and fostering assessments a range of checks and references must be undertaken. Some are compulsory, but others rest upon the decision of the agency involved. Some will be more or less likely to produce pertinent information, and all have implications for staff time and resources.
The guide addresses a variety of questions such as: What are the necessary checks and references that should be undertaken, and how can workers best go about these?; How can agencies weigh up the importance of these checks against their resource implications and likelihood of receiving a useful result?; What should agencies consider when formulating their policy for checks and references?
It explores a range of checks, including:
- criminal records checks
- personal references
- health assessments
- home safety checks
- dog and pet assessments
- social media and internet checks
Case studies illustrate the issues to be considered, and the guide includes a range of sample forms and checklists designed to help agencies collect and analyse information.
This guide will be invaluable for all those involved in undertaking checks and references for both fostering and adoption, or in formulating agency policy and practice in this area.
Paul Adams is a Fostering Development Consultant at CoramBAAF. He has authored Good Practice Guides on parent and child fostering, contact in permanent placements, social work with Gypsy, Roma and Traveller children, and dogs and pets in fostering and adoption. Paul has also developed Form C (connected persons), Form FR (foster carer reviews), and considerably revised Form F (fostering assessments) in England. He is an experienced Chair of fostering and adoption panels, and an adopter.