Things to know about Foster care assessment

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Foster care assessment is done when you have made the decision to become a foster parent. The process will take about 6 months for completion and it will involve a home study, education classes and personal references. Below is your guide to foster care assessment.

Home study: A professional will walk you through your home to evaluate its safety for children. They will also check for any hazards that might put the child’s life in danger. This is to ensure that you have adequate space for the child as well as all necessary amenities such as working smoke detectors and stairs with secure gates. Other things they look out for are a working phone line, enough bedrooms, bathroom and kitchen space.

Education classes: These classes assist you in preparing to become a foster parent by educating you on what to expect when you welcome a foster child into your home. Topics covered include the effects of abuse and neglect on children, grief and loss, self-care, sexuality and drugs and alcohol abuse among others. You will be taught how to deal with challenging behaviors of foster children such as aggression or withdrawal.

Personal references: Your references may be family members, neighbors or friends who can attest to your character and skills. They must not be related to you by blood (spouse doesn’t count) or live in your home with you.

So, you’ve decided to take the first step in becoming a foster parent. Or perhaps you’re still thinking it over, and you want to know a bit more about what to expect. Either way, here are six things to know about a foster care assessment:

1. It will be thorough.

2. It will require your patience.

3. You need to be honest during the process.

4. You will meet with the social worker often (and so will other people in your life).

5. You’ll be asked questions that may seem intrusive at times but they are necessary (and legal).

6. Be prepared for surprises and upsets along the way.

Foster care assessment is very important in providing an insight into the functioning of an individual. It is a process that determines whether the person is eligible for the foster care program or not. The initial goal of foster care assessment is to determine the problems that led to child’s removal from home and how to solve these problems.

The services offered to children during foster care assessment are:

–          Counseling

–          Education

–          Job and vocational training

–          Skills that would help them live independently