Fostering a child in the UK is one of the most rewarding things you can do. The process starts with the fostering assessment. Learn what to expect from it with Match today.
An average of 95 children in the UK enter the care system every single day, and over 70% of those will end up in foster care. If you want to become a foster parent, completing the fostering assessment process at Match Foster Care forms a key step on the path to making it a reality.
The fostering assessment process is designed to confirm that you are a suitable candidate and that fostering a child is the right solution for your family. Here’s all you need to know about the fostering assessment process at Match Foster Care.
What is Form F?
Every fostering agency in the UK will use a Form F assessment to analyse applicants who wish to become foster parents. The fostering assessment process at Match Foster Care is no different.
The form does not use a standardised set of questions. Instead, it is an assessment that is focused on getting to know your family and its personal circumstances. Aside from checking that you are suitable for fostering, the results can be used to connect you with the right foster child and ensure that the right type of fostering is selected.
Some of the key topics discussed during the assessment are;
- Physical and mental health,
- Motivation for fostering and availability,
- Working history and financial situation,
- Current family dynamics,
- Family and support networks.
The fostering assessment is quite detailed and will form the basis of your application. It is usually done at your home so that we can also check the suitability of your property for welcoming a foster child.
How Long Does the Assessment Take?
The fostering assessment can take 4-6 months. As well as completing Form F, also known as Form F1, there will be background checks. However, there are over 50,000 foster families in the UK and the fostering assessment at Match Foster Care is designed to help you join the community.
Crucially, though, the process also gives you a chance to explore the impact of fostering. From the financial impacts to the influence on your family dynamics and the rewards of supporting a child into your loving home, there are many aspects to consider.
Form F is completed by the agency social care worker and is not used to pass judgement on you. So, there is no reason to fear the assessment or let it cause stress. It is merely a procedure that is built to support all parties throughout the fostering process.
What Else is Required During the Fostering Assessment Process at Match Foster Care
As well as completing the assessment itself, you will need to complete a training programme. This can be arranged to fit around your schedule and only requires a few sessions.
The training is designed to equip you with the skills needed to thrive as a foster parent from the day you welcome a foster child into your home. It is a chance to gain a deeper understanding of life as a foster parent, covering topics like;
- Introducing foster children to birth children,
- Child development,
- Equality and diversity,
- Challenges and rewards as a foster parent.
It is also a chance to speak to other foster parents. After all, the fostering assessment process isn’t just about confirming your eligibility. It is equally crucial to confirm that you have a full understanding of the journey – including the downsides as well as the many benefits.
If you are still eager to foster a child in the UK, contact our experts to get the process started today.