Following NAFP's online seminar on assessing foster carers during Covid-19, many of our IFA members raised interesting discussion points in relation to aspects of the stage 1 checks and references in carer assessment. This new online seminar provides an opportunity to consider some of the uncertainties, differences in interpretation and practice challenges in this area.

Although fostering regulations and national minimum standards stipulate that checks have to be completed, they are not prescriptive in what this means. As a result, many differing approaches and inconsistencies have developed amongst the fostering sector in how areas such as ex-partners references and checks are undertaken.

This online seminar will explore key areas of confusion across four themes. We aim to offer space for fostering agencies to discuss some of the areas within stage 1 assessment that challenge our thinking, share good practice that leads to considering policy and process around some of the stage 1 areas.

Join us to consider how much emphasis and importance we place on checks, and explore good practice in relation to:

  • Medicals - how do we consider the emotional and physical health of individuals applying to foster and when medical issues arise for approved foster carers?
  • References - how valuable are they considering applicants provide friends and relatives? What are the conflicts around ex-partner references, children and adult children living in or away from the home? How confidential can they remain when there is something of concern within them?
  • Additional checks - such as approach to overseas checks, social media, local authority, workplace references - how far do you go to obtain the information, and for what timeframe?
  • DBS - what should be our approach to offending backgrounds and how we make decisions for positive DBSs? Who should we carry out checks on, and what patterns of offending behaviour is of significance to the fostering role?

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