Here’s the assessment story from one of our foster carer couples:
“My partner and I came away from an information event by Foster 4 Leeds more determined than ever to become foster carers. We filled in our details on the website and were contacted by the recruitment team the next working day.
“We arranged for the staff member to visit our home the following week to talk about why we wanted to foster, and address any reservations or concerns we still had. They also had a look around our rented home to make sure it was suitable.
“All went well and they left us with an application form to complete at our leisure. We didn’t feel under any pressure to make a decision there and then but the truth was our minds were made up and helping a child by fostering is what we wanted to do.
“We completed the application form and returned it for approval. Not long afterwards we received an official letter saying our application had been successful which brought with it both excitement and fear. We need not have feared anything though; we had been assigned a social worker who was very open and honest and talked us through the whole process of becoming approved foster carers.
“The assessment took several months which seemed long at the time but looking back I can understand why – these things need to be thorough. No stone was left unturned during the assessment but part way through it really did seem like we were talking to a friend – all sorts of topics were covered such as our own childhoods, our opinions on certain topics, how we got together. She came to know us better than we knew ourselves!
“As well as the sessions with our social worker we had to have a Disclosure and Barring Service check [the replacement to the old CRB checks], a medical and, most importantly attend a three day ‘skills to foster’ course.
“We completed this course early in our assessment and thought it was massively beneficial. It gave us facts, scenarios, discussion topics and group work to do. No topic was taboo, although sometimes this was a little difficult – talking in detail about abuse for instance. Obviously you can’t cover every eventuality in a three day course but what it did cover was eye opening, thought provoking and very beneficial. We even got to talk to a current foster carer.”