So, you want to be a foster carer? In which case, you might have already heard some assessment horror stories about personal questions and conversations with your ex - and it’s making you feel a little apprehensive. The application process is a key part of your journey to becoming a foster carer - and it may even help you be a better one.
Although fostering services would like all families to be approved, the application process is far from being a formality. The assessment of foster carers is personal and intimate. Background checks will take place into your health, financial situation and police records.
Why is the foster care process so intrusive?
Some prospective foster carers find it too intrusive and decide not to continue on their fostering journey. But encouragingly, most understand that it is vital that approved foster carers have the necessary quality and insights to offer excellent care before they can be entrusted with some of society’s most vulnerable children and young people.
What many find most intrusive or uncomfortable are the personal conversations with the designated social worker, who will visit you at home several times. These conversations need to be open and honest. Nothing is off the table: childhood, sexuality, race, relationships with siblings and parents, health. For some, it is a rare and welcome opportunity to reflect in depth on what made us the adults we have become. But for others, the process can reopen old wounds or take us back to dark places we would rather not revisit.