All the pages on this site should help to answer your initial questions about fostering but here are a few of the other ones we get asked quite a bit. Of course, please get in touch if you want to know anything at all – we’re very friendly and there’s no such thing as a daft question in our experience.
Can I still foster if I have a criminal record?
You can’t foster if you or someone in your household has a criminal conviction or caution for a serious sexual offence or an offence against a child or vulnerable person. Other criminal offences will not automatically exclude you, for example spent convictions and minor offences committed a long time ago, depending on what they were and how you’ve lived your life since then, will be looked at individually and taken into consideration during the assessment process.
Can I choose which child I look after?
Whilst there is an acute need for foster carers who can provide loving homes for sibling groups and children with more complex needs, as well as parent and child placements, there’s every opportunity during the assessment process to talk with our team about what sort of child you’ll be best placed to foster. You may feel more confident fostering children of a certain age or gender, and your social worker will work with you to help you decide what is best for you. Your preferences will be taken in to account throughout the whole process.
How long does the process take?
The assessment process usually takes around six months. It begins with a social worker meeting with you and asking some questions to find out more about you. The process is very open and we’ll share all the details with you at every stage, so you know what happens next. You can also take a break after stage one – if you want to.
Matching you with a child may take longer, but it really depends which children you would consider making part of your family.
I have heard that the process is very intrusive. What type of things will you ask me or look in to?
To make sure that all fostered children in Liverpool are in the safest of hands, various checks are undertaken to make sure that carers, their homes and health are all up to the job. These checks may include:
- A health and safety inspection of your home.
- A health check with a GP or family doctor.
- Personal and employer references.
- Checks with the NSPCC and your local authority.
- Interviews with any adult children you have who live away from your home.
- An enhanced Criminal Records Bureau, or Disclosure and Barring Service check for anyone aged over 16 living in the household.