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STANDARD 13 - Recruiting and assessing foster carers who can meet the needs of looked after children


  • The fostering service recruits, assesses and supports a range of foster carers to meet the needs of children they provide care for and is proactive in assessing current and future needs of children.


The local authority fostering service implements an effective strategy to ensure sufficient foster carers to be responsive to current and predicted future demands on the service. Planning for future demands covers the need for short breaks for disabled children.


People who are interested in becoming foster carers are treated fairly, without prejudice, openly and with respect. Enquiries are dealt with courteously and efficiently by staff who have the necessary knowledge and skills. Prospective foster carers are provided with timely and relevant information following their initial enquiry and are kept informed about the progress of any subsequent application for approval.


Prospective foster carers are prepared to become foster carers in a way which addresses, and gives practical techniques to manage, the issues they are likely to encounter and identifies the competencies and strengths they have or need to develop.


The assessment process is set out clearly to prospective foster carers, including:

  1. the qualities, skills or aptitudes being sought or to be achieved;
  2. the standards to be applied in the assessment;
  3. the stages and content of the selection process and where possible timescales involved;
  4. the information to be given to applicants


Checks are carried out in line with regulation 26 and prospective foster carers understand why identity checks, relationship status and health checks, personal references and enquiries are undertaken about them and why enhanced CRB checks are made on them and adult members of their household.


Prospective foster carers are considered in terms of their capacity to look after children in a safe and responsible way that meets the child’s development needs.


The written report on the person’s suitability to be approved as a foster carer sets out clearly all the information that the fostering panel and decision maker needs in order to make an objective approval decision. The reports are accurate, up-to-date and include evidence based information that distinguishes between fact, opinion and third party information. The reports are prepared, signed and dated by the social worker who assessed the prospective foster carer and countersigned and dated by the fostering team manager or a team manager of another of the provider’s fostering teams.


Reviews of foster carers’ approval are sufficiently thorough to allow the fostering service to properly satisfy itself about their carers’ ongoing suitability to foster.


Areas of concern, or need for additional support, that are identified between reviews are addressed. Such matters identified between reviews are addressed at the time they are identified, where appropriate, rather than waiting for a review.