Fostering assessment

Also known as the 'Form F assessment', the fostering assessment aims to simply explore whether you're right for fostering, and whether fostering is right for you.

What is a Form F assessment?

Every foster parent in the UK has to complete a fostering assessment - also known as a Form F assessment.

The fostering assessment involves a series of social work visits, background checks, references and initial training, and usually takes around 3-6 months. However, we'll always move at a pace that's right for you.

The fostering assessment is the most critical and detailed phase of the fostering application process and it’s centred on what’s called the ‘Form F’. This is used by all fostering organisations everywhere in the UK to assess and evaluate an applicant's suitability to be a foster parent.

As you can imagine, it’s quite a detailed report and takes time to complete. In fact, it involves a number of home visits from a dedicated assessing social worker who’ll ask you detailed questions and complete the report over a period of time. They are there to support you throughout the whole assessment process, they’ll record why you want to foster children and why you’d make a great foster parent.

Supported by a number of background checks and references, the whole process can take between 4-6 months. There’s no special rush and we’ll move at a pace that suits you.

The fostering assessment report goes into real detail about your life, experiences, family and work, as well as your health and finances. Rest assured, it’s not judgmental and we’re not looking for the ’perfect’ foster parent. Everyone’s different and foster parents come from all backgrounds, experiences, ages and walks of life. None of this matters to us. We just need to make sure that you’re right for the work and that we’re the right fostering team for you. It’s important because being a foster parent comes with significant responsibilities.

Once your Form F is complete and you've undertaken your initial foster care training, it’s time for the final step to become approved as a foster carer. Learn more about the fostering assessment below or jump to the next step - the fostering panel.

Next step: Fostering panel

Fostering assessment questions

There’s no set list of questions that will need to be answered during a fostering assessment as everybody’s personal circumstances are unique. Instead, we explore a number of areas, including;

  • Childhood experiences
  • Past and current relationships
  • Working history
  • Relationships with birth children (if applicable)
  • Health – both mental and physical (including a medical examination with your GP)
  • Finances
  • Family and support networks
  • The safety and suitability of your home, including pets
  • Your motivations for fostering
  • Your availability
fostering assessments

Background checks and references

As part of your fostering assessment, we carry out a number of background checks as well as follow up references to help us get a full and all-round picture of you as a person and potential foster parent.

This is a legal requirement for all fostering providers, and you’ll understand why it’s important.

Find out more

fostering assessment questions

Fostering assessment training

As part of your fostering assessment, and to help you make an informed decision, we’ll ask you to attend our 2-day training course – ‘Prepare to Foster’. This is a great introduction to the work and takes you deeper behind the scenes.

You’ll learn about child development, safeguarding and equality and diversity amongst others, and have the chance to speak to current foster parents at Orange Grove. It’s a ‘deep dive’ into the fostering experience to help prepare you for the challenges and rewards that lie ahead when you foster a child.

Find out more

Speak to our team today

By phone

One of our team is available to talk to you over the phone to answer any of your fostering queries.

0800 369 8513

Live chat

Have a live chat online with one of our dedicated fostering professionals

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Your local office

We have local teams covering most of England. Find your local office today.

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Frequently asked questions

What checks are carried out?

We’ll carry out various checks, such as an enhanced DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service), local authority and health and safety checks, as well as collect a number of personal and professional references.

These checks and references are a vital part of the application process to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the children and young people we may place with prospective foster parents.

Find out more about foster carer checks

Who will be assessing me?

You'll be assessed by a fully qualified social worker with assessment experience. The social worker may work for Orange Grove or may be an independent assessing social worker.

How much is a foster parent paid?

Fostering allowances vary from agency to agency, and even local authority. However, allowances are generally around £400 - £450 per week, per child.

Find out how much you could receive fostering with Orange Grove below.

View allowance calculator

Do I have to pay tax on my fostering allowance?

Foster carers have specialist tax rules that generally make the fostering allowance completely tax-free.

Find out more about tax and fostering

More FAQs

Got some more questions? Find out the answers here.

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