Foster care and adoption background check
Ascertaining whether a person applying to be a foster carer or adopt a child will provide a safe environment is critical. Therefore, a DBS check must be carried out to safeguard any children assigned to a household’s care.
The entire household above a certain age must undergo these checks, including anyone who regularly stays at the premises overnight. We are on hand to offer any legislative advice and process these essential checks.
Enhanced DBS checks for a child protective services background check
Enhanced DBS checks that must be carried out as part of the vetting process will reveal any spent or unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands or warnings. It is illegal for anyone who is barred from working with children to foster or adopt a child.
An individual cannot request an enhanced check against themselves; therefore, the check must be requested by the adoption or fostering agency.
Who needs a DBS check to foster or adopt?
It is compulsory for every person wanting to become a foster carer or adopt a child to be assessed and checked. This will ascertain whether a person is suitable to take on the role.
Once an individual has been assessed, an Enhanced DBS check is necessary. It will show whether a prospective foster carer or adopter has any criminal convictions that make them unsuitable carers.
However, it is not only the foster carers or adopters that need a DBS check; any household members over a certain age will also be required to have an enhanced level check including a check on the child’s barred list. This includes any family members, friends or relatives who regularly stay overnight at the fostering household.
Although it may seem an extreme measure, it is implemented to ensure all fostered or adopted children’s safety.
Enhanced DBS Check For Fostering
Foster parents are employed within a regulated activity, as children fall within a vulnerable group. Therefore, they are eligible for the highest level of check, including the barring list for children.
This includes anyone over the age of 16 who also lives within the private fostering household.
Enhanced DBS Check For Adoption
The same level of check is required for anyone applying to adopt a child, which is an Enhanced DBS check, including the barring list for children. The minimum age of individuals living within the same household that must also undergo a check is 18.
Enhanced DBS Check For Regular Visitors
Even though a person who regularly visits the household is not considered to be taking part in a regulated activity, they may still be asked to undergo a DBS check as part of the approval process. In these circumstances, these individuals are are suitable for a Basic DBS check, which will highlight any unspent convictions on their record.
Why Choose Care Check For Your DBS Check?
Every person involved in the foster or adoptive application process will want things to move along as swiftly as possible so that as many children can be placed into safe houses and begin their new life. However, all precautions must be taken. At Care Check, 65% of checks are returned within 24 hours. And 85% are returned within five days.
We are a leading umbrella body for the Disclosure and Barring Service and are among the top 8 criminal record check providers in the UK. We are also Cyber Essentials, and Cyber Essentials Plus accredited, and all data provided to us is stored within an IOS27001 secure centre; so you can trust that your information is safe in our hands.
Every part of the DBS checking process is carried out online using a smart system, reducing the risk of errors that would slow the checking process. You can use the system to submit applications easily, keep track of the check and download the report once the check is complete.
Get in touch online or call us on 0333 777 8585 to begin the process or for legislative advice.
Frequently asked questions about adoption or foster care background checks
The assessment process takes place in two stages; however, these can be completed simultaneously. The types of checks carried out include:
- The property you live in and any pets you own
- Other people who live with you, including children
- Information about children who don’t live with you
- Your relationship history
- Your general health
- Whether anyone in your homes has applied to adopt, foster or become a childminder
- Names and addresses of a minimum of two references for you and any adults also living with you
- Understanding your personality, hobbies, interests and religious beliefs
- What languages you speak, your cultural background and ethnicity and whether you are willing to foster children with a different religion, cultural background or ethnicity to you
- Employment history
- Whether you have cared for children in the past
- Any useful skills that are relevant to fostering
- Your standard of living
As well as a DBS check.
The application process to adopt a child also takes place over two stages and will include the following:
- Names, date of birth and other factual information regarding you and your household
- Income, health and occupational information about you and your partner (if you are a couple)
- Three references that the adoption agency can contact. Two of the referees must not be related to you
- Medical reports and background checks
- Home visits so that the social worker can see how the family spends their time
- Meetings with your referees and any children that live with you
- Checks into your childhood experiences
- The social worker may want to make contact with former partners
A criminal record for yourself of someone who lives in your household will not necessarily prevent you from adopting a child. Instances where a criminal record will lead to you being refused to adopt include:
- Cautions or convictions for offences against children
- Serious sexual offences
You must be upfront and honest with your adoption agency.