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Becoming a Form F Assessor

 

Why should you become a Form F Assessor for Fostering People?

As a fostering agency continuing to recruit good foster carers in all of our regions we are continually looking to identify skilled and experienced social workers to undertake fostering assessments with us and if you feel that you have appropriate social work skills and experience in undertaking assessments we would like to hear from you.

While some of our assessments are undertaken by our own social workers the majority are undertaken by our self-employed independent social workers who have contracts with Fostering People

Here’s what one of our current assessors had to say:
“As an Independent Form F Assessor, I value the support given by Fostering People.  I have completed assessments for other fostering agencies, however, I prefer the supervision and support given by Fostering People, not only to myself but also to the applicants.  I have found the quality assurance process to be very rigorous.  This ensured me that the quality assessor had read my assessment word for word and was paying attention to detail which I am sure helped to safeguard and prepare for Panel”. – Teresa

 

How do I apply?

If you’d like to apply to become a Form F Assessor with us, please click the link below to fill out an application form.

 

 

What is the application process like?

We will invite social workers with suitable experience of assessment work for an interview and for a training day and for all successful applicants we will initiate a process of checks and references prior to offering you a self-employed contract.

If you undertake assessment work with Fostering People you can be assured that you will be working with an Ofsted Outstanding rated agency and one of which Ofsted commented, ‘Comprehensive and well-considered systems and processes underpin the preparation, assessment and approval of foster carers’

Of assessment, it is stated that use of independent assessors is supported by very clear expectations of the agency. A systematic approach is used to ensure they operate consistently which also helps to address any concerns at an early stage. The practice guidance used is informed by research to promote strong assessments and foster carers have described assessments as very efficient’

 

Our Assessment Process is:

Each application in assessment has an assessment co-ordinator, an assessing social worker and an assessment manager

The assessment coordinator is responsible for undertaking checks within the assessment and for liaising closely with the applicant(s) and the assessor throughout the assessment.

The assessment coordinator is a very important role and we are very pleased that of 81 assessments allocated during 2015, in 96% of assessments the assessing social workers reported the input and support from the assessment coordinators to be useful or very useful.

 

At the point that you accept an assessment, you are provided with an Assignment Confirmation note 

The Assignment Confirmation note sets out the terms of the assessment including costs, data protection management etc but also key issues pertinent to that particular assessment identified from the Initial Enquiry, Home Visit and Application forms.

The assessing social worker will also receive comprehensive guidance for the completion of the 2014 BAAF Form F which will guide the assessor through all aspects of our assessment process and the completion of the Form F document itself.

The assessing social worker is given a report submission date and a provisional panel date and dates for two consultation discussions with the manager of the assessment.

 

Consultation Discussions

At the outset of the assessment, the assessing social worker is asked to contact the person who undertook the Home Visit for a ‘handover’ discussion.

The consultation discussions with the manager of the assessment, which may take place face to face or by phone are used to systematically support the assessor with the assessment and a full write-up of the consultation discussion is provided for the assessor following the consultation.

The consultative support provided within each assessment is a very important part of the process and we are very pleased that 99% of assessors fed back in 2015 that they found this support to be useful or very useful.

In addition to the formal consultative support, assessing social workers are welcome to contact the assessment co-ordinator or the assessment manager at any time whether by e-mail or phone to raise or seek to clarify any issues and will always receive a prompt response.

There is no pressure or expectation that the assessing social worker reaches a positive recommendation but only that he or she reaches the appropriate recommendation based on an analysis of the evidence obtained.

 

The assessing social worker will complete his or her assessment with several meetings with applicants, referees and other significant persons as appropriate and must submit the completed report by the identified submission date

The report will need QA support and when agreed as panel ready following any amends/corrections it is shared with the applicant(s) for comments and confirmation that it is factually accurate.

 

The assessing social worker must attend at the agreed panel date/time to address any questions or issues that may be raised by members of the panel and applicant(s) are invited to attend panel too

There is no doubt that the process of undertaking Form F assessments is a challenge and requires good analytical skills as well as good organisational and planning skills but it is evident from our feedback that assessors working with us value the quality of support and guidance given to them to enable them to undertake this role as effectively as possible and we look forward to hearing from any social workers with appropriate assessment skills and experience who are interested in undertaking Form F assessment work with us.

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