Independent Qualified Social Worker Fostering Assessor

POST TITLE: Independent Qualified Social Worker
Fostering Assessor
RESPONSIBLE TO: Oak Lodge Fostering Services – Managing Director.

Main Areas of Responsibility:

The post entails completion of a full Form F assessment on prospective foster carers, and the presentation of the completed Form F to the Local CFA Foster Care Committee.

Outline of Main Duties

Set up and undertake appointments required to complete the Form F1 assessment. First visit to be undertaken within seven days of agreeing to undertake the assessment and receiving the information pack from Oak Lodge.
Minimum of eight assessment visits to include;

Provision of information regarding the process of assessment, including training opportunities and commitments, background & identity checks, medicals, statutory and referee/employer checks.

Life history interviews, to be undertaken individually (joint applicants to be seen separately on at least one occasion).

Individual interviews with Carers own children (dependent on age and level of understanding) to gain their views regarding fostering. Adult children living away from home must be interviewed as well as children living in the family home and their ability to live safely alongside foster children evaluated.

Individual interviews of three referees supplied by the applicants. The information supplied by the referees must be compared and evaluated with information gathered from the Carer’s undergoing assessment.

Ensure full details of previous fostering experience are discussed and evaluated within the assessment and include case studies of children placed.

If the carers have not had previous fostering experience, discuss and evaluate their ability to care for children, understanding of child development and ability to meet the needs of children in their care. Look at all child care experience and transferable skills.

A critical evaluation of parenting capacity is an essential component of the assessment and should be linked with the carers understanding of the fostering task.

Ability to undertake the fostering task and meet the complex needs of children must be evaluated, particularly in relation to working with children who have suffered abuse, managing challenging behaviour, safe caring, valuing diversity, working with birth families and working as part of a team.

Carers understanding and attitude towards diversity must be explored and evaluated, focussing on issues of race and culture, gender, sexuality and disability.

Complete a Genogram covering a minimum of three generations and giving details of applicants’ parents, siblings, children and other significant people in their lives that may impact on a placement. Include ages at time of writing or date of death.

Complete an Ecomap to illustrate applicants support network.

Undertake interviews with significant ex-partners.

Support Carers to complete the family Safe Caring Policy; this should be signed and dated by the applicants.

Checks and Clearances

Advise carers on the results of their checks and clearances (required as part of the assessment process) i.e. medicals, employment and personal references, garda vetting, CFA and overseas checks, pet reports, health and safety checks and proof of identity and request explanations of any issues that arise.

Report and Recommendations

Provide a summary at the end of each section that highlights the main issues

List the core competencies demonstrated within each section of the report.

Ensure all information collated is accurate and critically analysed within the social work report section; clear evidence of competence must be provided. The social work report section is an important summary of your assessment and should clearly identify the Carers ability to carry out the fostering task, their strengths and areas for development.

Recommendations in terms of children to be placed should be specific in terms of age and number, with reasons given for the recommendations made.

Complete the Form F in draft, share with the carers and send to the Oak Lodge Fostering Services Managing Director.


A Pre-Committee visit to the carers will be undertaken following the completion of the Form F, by Oak Lodge Fostering Services Managing Director.

Take completed Form F to carers for agreement and signature.

Meet deadlines for submitting reports to the Committee. This date is agreed with Oak Lodge Fostering Services Managing Director at the point the assessment is allocated.

Revisit the Committee process with carers and support their attendance.

Attend the Local CFA Foster Care Committee meetings to present Form F.

Terms and Conditions

The post entails completion of a full Form F competency assessment on prospective carers, and the presentation of this at Local Area CFA Foster Care Committee.

You will be expected to have regular contact with the Oak Lodge Fostering Services Managing Director throughout the process of assessment and consultation/supervision will be provided by telephone and/or in person.

You will be expected to attend occasional meetings organised by the agency for independent assessors to look at issues of practice, procedure and to be involved in training.