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By thecheckpeople_admin
Published 12:01 pm

DBS Checks for Foster Carers

DBS Checks are something that many professions demand you complete before you start work. From schools to hospitals to the financial sector, among many, many more, your employer may ask you to complete an online DBS check. This is also true of Foster Care. Even though you’re not providing an education or administering treatment for vulnerable persons, a DBS check is necessary as you are caring for children. In this post, we will outline everything you need to know about DBS Checks for Foster Carers.

Foster Carers

Types Of DBS Check

There are three levels of DBS check that exist. These are:

You can complete a Basic DBS Check online by yourself. However, Standard and Advanced DBS Checks require a third-party to apply for you, as the application involves questions that you cannot answer honestly.

These checks determine any past, spent or and unspent convictions as well as detailing information regarding cautions and warnings. This is to get an idea of your suitability for the role you have applied for.

As a Foster Carer, you will need to complete an Enhanced DBS Check, which will be requested by the fostering organisation you are working with. Because of the depth of the check, this check can take anywhere between 2 weeks and four weeks.

It is not merely the main foster carer who will need to request an Enhanced DBS Check. Anybody who lives in or frequents the household and is over the age of 18 will also require one. This ensures that the social worker and organisation understands the situation in full, rather than encountering any surprises later on.

An Enhanced DBS check will cost between £40.00 and £44.00.

Can You Foster If You Have A Criminal Record?

A criminal record should not disqualify you from being able to foster children, and past offenses are not always considered when applying to be a foster carer.

However, just because a criminal record shouldn’t disqualify you from fostering a child does not mean that this will be true for everybody. The opportunity to foster a child will depend on the type of offense, the circumstances of the offense, and the timeframe from when the offense occurred.

Perhaps most important is the type of offense. There are some convictions that will automatically disqualify you from fostering a child such as offenses against children including sexual and specific violent crimes.

During your application, your criminal history will be checked and assessed to determine your suitability for fostering children, as well as anybody else who lives in or regularly visits your household. As with anything, the safety of the child is the priority.

If you have a history of offenses, you can find more information about when your criminal record will be cleared to understand the time period in which previous charges are no longer relevant or disclosed.

Foster Carers

What Else Is Required?

Besides your DBS checks for you and any members of the household over the age of 18, you will also need to complete a health check to ensure that you are physically and mentally capable of fostering children. While fostering may seem like a great idea now, it can come with its difficulties depending on the environment and the nature of the fostered child.

You will also require training, help, and support. However, this is provided by a social worker who will make regular visits to keep up-to-date with how the situation is progressing. If you are new to fostering, the organisation will make allowances for any mistakes or mishaps, and you will have a broad network of fostering support from social workers and organisations.

DBS Checks and Foster Care

Applying to be a Foster Carer is a noble endeavour that can help children get the care, support, and love they need in their formative years. However, as we’ve mentioned, you cannot successfully foster children if you are over 18 and do not have the necessary DBS certificate to prove you’re eligibility.

If you are planning on caring for children in a fostering capacity, getting your DBS check is vital.

If you need more information for everything about DBS checks, make sure to browse The Check People Blog to answer any additional questions you might have.

Sources:

  1. DBS Checks in Fostering (England) – The Fostering Network
  2. Can You Foster With a Criminal Record – Capstone Foster Care