Back to news

Natalie Supervising Social worker explains 'What is involved in a Form F and the Assessment Process?'

Assessment (2) (1)

We asked Natalie, a Supervising Social Worker, questions about the Form F and the application process.

What is the Form F?

A Form F is an assessment completed when applicants are assessed to become foster carers. The assessment draws out strengths and any areas in which we feel applicants may need support within their fostering. The Form F timescale depends on the applicants, and how much there is to discuss and explore. On average, it takes up to 6 months to complete the Form F.

What is the Form F process?

An enquiry is made, which then translates to an initial visit. If, at this point, both Nexus Fostering and the applicants wish to pursue, the applicants will be allocated an assessor. The assessor will then arrange an introductory visit and discuss with them what will be covered in the Form F (a blank copy can be left with the applicants). Further sessions are then arranged.

What do you discuss during the visits?

Each session varies, but the main areas relate to the background of the applicants, their experience of child care (if any), and their capacity to foster.

What checks and references need to be collected?

The assessor does not complete the ‘checks’ as these are undertaken by the administration team. However, DBS checks are done by a Local Authority check. Admin also ascertains employee references, both previous and current. The assessor will complete personal references put forward by the family.

What training is involved in the fostering assessment?

Applicants will be asked to attend Skills to Foster training, which offers an early insight into the realities of fostering.

Applicants will have access to Nexus online training provider, which applicants can access at any time. Should a particular need or issue arise for the Form F assessment, this is useful as a way for applicants to become knowledgeable about an area.

You have recently completed a Form F for a couple who have been approved as foster carers. How did you find the process?

It is a HUGE piece of work and, in my experience, challenging to balance alongside my day-to-day job and casework. As a piece of work in isolation, I did enjoy getting to know the applicants and pulling it all together. Of course, these applicants were approved, so it was a pleasure to be their assessor at the start of their fostering journey.

What is the next step for foster carers after getting approved? 

Once foster carers are approved, they will be allocated a supervising social worker, and an induction visit will be planned. Foster carers are then available for placement, and anything suitable will be shared immediately. With the couple I assessed, I have become their supervising social worker because I have the work capacity but my understanding is that this doesn’t always happen, although Nexus Fostering always tries to keep the supervising social worker the same for continuity.


Fostering insights


  • Foster Carer
  • Social Worker

Date published

20 October 2023

Ready to talk about fostering?

Get in touch with us today for a friendly chat

Contact Us