We have needed to complete:-
- enhanced CRBs (really no surprise there)
- employment references including income checks. In the application form you have to give details of monthly outgoings (mortgage, bills, travel etc) which they then compare to your household income, so to make sure that you are financially stable, not going into fostering for just the money (or about to have your house repossessed)
- medical checks (I mentioned these last time - thorough but reasonable)
- a reference from a family member - just the one was needed but the person needed to know us both well and have spent time with us as a family.
- references from friends - we needed two of these, one who my knew my husband better and one who knew me - but who both knew us as a couple. Hint: when choosing referees think about people who know, respect and love you and are fully supportive of you becoming foster carers. Also think about what they know about you as an individual, a couple and a parent - can they comment constructively on all these aspects? And are they able to give your social worker insight into your previous life experiences? For example, my husband was born in another country and only moved here as an adult. One of our referees had known him in his home country and could give plenty of useful information. Also, all 3 of our referees felt nervous about their interviews and wanted to make sure they said the right thing to our social worker - they all did sterling work and helped enormously in giving her a much richer picture of us. We really appreciate their willingness to help.
- overseas checks - my husband moved here as an adult so checks needed to be made to ensure he had no criminal past in another country. This could have been a huge sticking point as there is no equivalent to a CRB in his home country, and it could have taken months (even years) and been very expensive to get Police checks completed. Fortunately, he works in an environment requiring enhanced CRBs so when he was recruited from abroad relevant checks were made by that place of work - we were able to get written confirmation from them that he was ok rather than having to go to the Embassy, HUGE RELIEF!
- fire safety checks on the house - this was great fun as it involved a visit from the local fire brigade and they brought their fire engine! We had friends and their toddlers over for a play date when they turned up so we had 5 very happy toddlers gawping out the window and once the checks were made, which included establishing emergency exits and putting smoke alarms in the right places, got to sit in the engine, wear the helmets and boots - AMAZING! All the firemen had also grown 'Movember' moustaches so it was like a visit from the village people, I'm not sure they'd all see that as a compliment!!!!
I think that was all the checks we needed to get done, and they took a few months to be completed. It would have been even more lengthy if we had had any other children with previous partners, been married before or had lived with anyone else as they would all have had to be interviewed too. Its nice to be straightforward in something!