Undertaking a fostering assessment Scotland cover

Undertaking a fostering assessment in Scotland


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This guide is designed to help social workers to manage and complete a comprehensive and evidence-based assessment of prospective applicants who want to foster a child or children. It is to be used by assessing social workers to complete a Prospective Foster Carer’s Report using the CoramBAAF Form F (for Scotland).

This guide will assist workers in writing their assessments using Form F. It is primarily based on Section B of Form F, which brings together information about the applicant – individual profile and family and environmental factors; present circumstances; becoming foster carers.

Broadly divided into three sections, which mirror those used in the different parts of Section B, each section of the guide presents a list of trigger questions that can facilitate further discussion and encourage exploration of different areas and suggestions as to how this can be analysed to assess an applicant's suitability, or not, to foster. It also includes guidance on kinship care assessments.

Who is this book for?

All those undertaking fostering assessments in Scotland. The guide will be of particular use to those who are new to the task.

What you will find in this book

Logically structured and very accessibly presented, this guide:

  • assists the assessing social worker in collecting some of the basic information necessary to complete a comprehensive Form F assessment
  • prompts the social worker to analyse the information they have collected with regard to its effect on the application
  • assists in linking the information collected and its analysis to the Getting it Right for Every Child (GIRFEC) well-being indicators and the BAAF Competencies for Fostering.

Cross-referenced throughout to the GIRFEC indicators and Competencies, the guide includes worksheets to help assessors to plan and keep track of ongoing assessments, and useful checklists about safer caring, completing ecomaps and health and safety issues.


Roger Chapman is an independent social worker based in Northamptonshire. He worked in the fostering team of Northampton County Council until 2006, as team manager for six years, during which time he had extensive experience of undertaking assessments of foster carers himself and supervising others engaged in this task. Since 2006, he has been working independently offering consultancy; undertaking assessments and annual reviews of foster carers; providing training for staff in assessment; and sitting as an independent member on fostering panels. Between 2007 and 2011 he was a non-lay member of the GSCC Registration and Conduct Committee and since 2010 he has been a non-lay member of the Independent Review Mechanism Panel.

Marjorie Morrison was a child placement consultant with BAAF in Scotland for 25 years. Since then she has been an independent social worker. Over many years, she has acted as an independent Chair of both adoption and fostering panels in a number of agencies, mainly local authorities in Scotland. As well as seeing numerous applications to foster or adopt presented to panel, more recently this has also included a growth of kinship care assessments.