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Post by Wishthiswasover » Mon May 20, 2019 11:41 am


How important are references in the assessment??
Is the assessor supposed to complete the assessment soully based on her own views or is she allowed to seek other colleagues opinions

Thanks in advance

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
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Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 11:25 am

Re: References

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Wed Jun 05, 2019 10:57 am

Dear Wishthiswasover

Welcome to the family and friends carers’ discussion board and thank you for your post.

My name is Suzie, online adviser at Family Rights Group. I am sorry that you did not receive a response to your post sooner.

I assume you are being assessed to care for someone else’s child or children. Part of the assessment if for children’s services to obtain references. You ask how important are references and whether the assessor completes the assessment based on her own views.

Firstly, references are important because they are being provided by people whom you have indicated know you well. Your referees are likely to be asked their views about your suitability to care for the child or children. What they know about you generally, how long they have known you and in what capacity. It will be important because the information received will be taken into account.

Secondly, the assessor meets with you and discuss various things and on the basis of your response will carry out a detailed analysis to reach a conclusion and make a recommendation. It is likely that other information regarding the case, the children and their birth family will inform the assessment.

You have not stated in your post what you are being assessed for but here is an explanation from the A-Z of terms on our website relating to a fostering assessment

Before anyone can become a foster carer, they must be assessed and approved by Children's Services. Children’s Services must place looked after children with approved foster carers in order for the placement to be lawful.
There are three types of approval as a foster carer:
1. Temporary approval: This is known as a regulation 24 placement. This is available for relatives, friends or other connected persons. The social worker must find out key information about the relative/friend or other connected person and their household before (or immediately after) the placement in order to give temporary approval. The approval, once given, will last for 16 weeks, although it can be extended to 24 weeks in exceptional circumstances. During that time the relative/friend or other connected person must be fully assessed and approved as a foster carer for the placement to continue beyond that time. If they are not approved within that time period the child must be moved to another placement.
2. Temporary approval of approved adopters to foster a child for whom adoption is being considered: This is called afostering for adoption placement. In order to consider making a fostering for adoption placement, Children's Services must:
• be considering adoption for the child;
• have decided that this is the most appropriate placement for the child having established that there is no suitable placement within the child's family network;
• have considered whether the placement will safeguard and promote the child's welfare, be in their best interests and meets their needs set out in the care plan; and
• have assessed and approved the prospective adopters suitability to care for the child as a foster parent.
3. Full fostering assessment and approval: This is a detailed process made up of four main parts which include criminal records checks, health checks, references and the carer's family's circumstances including their home environment and their ability to meet a child's needs. This is the process that applies both to unconnected foster carers and relatives friends and connected persons who wish to care for a child long term. Family and friends carers will usually be assessed on how they can care for and protect a specific child.
When the full fostering assessment is finished the information gathered will be presented to a fostering panel for a recommendation about approval. If the proposed carer is not approved you can challenge this by writing to the local authority or asking for a review by the Independent Review mechanism.

If you are being assessed for a special guardianship order you may find it helpful to read our advice sheetDIY Special Guardianship Orders - information for family and friends carers for information about how the assessment is carried out. Page 54 onwards deals specifically with what has to be covered in the assessment report.

I hope this is helpful but should you wish to speak to an adviser, you can telephone our free confidential advice line on 0808 801 0366. The advice line is open from 9.30am to 3pm Monday to Friday (excluding Bank Holidays).

Best wishes


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