DBS checks for adoption and fostering form a vital component of safeguarding for agencies with children under their care.
But if you’re looking to adopt or foster, it can be difficult to know which level of DBS check is needed, and how to apply.
In this blog, we will take you through the process, from who is eligible for a check to how to apply, making the process of DBS checks for adoption and fostering easier to understand.
Enhanced DBS Checks for Adoptive and Foster Parents and Household Members
Adoptive and foster parents, as well as other adults who live in the household, will be eligible for the highest level of DBS check available; the enhanced with a check against the children’s barred list. This is because such individuals will be engaging in regulated activity.
An enhanced DBS check will contain details of both any unspent or spent convictions not protected in line with current guidance, as well as any cautions, warnings or reprimands an applicant may have received. Furthermore, it will allow the local police authorities to include any additional information about the applicant that they hold and deem pertinent.
Consideration does need to be given as to whether an applicant would be eligible for a DBS volunteer check. To do so, they would have to meet the DBS volunteer criteria. In these circumstances, a DBS check for an adoption and fostering will most likely depend on whether an individual is receiving financial support for their role.
Other visitors to the household
Other general visitors to the household would not normally be eligible for a higher level of DBS check as visiting would not fall under the DBS guidelines for an eligible check.
However, an individual visiting the household may be eligible for an enhanced DBS check if they are explicitly named as a ‘backup’ or ‘nominated’ foster carer by the primary foster carer. These individuals should be named/identified as part of the original assessment period, and will typically be eligible as they are engaging in regulated activity by looking after the child to provide relief for the primary foster carer.
How to apply for DBS checks for adoption and fostering
Both enhanced and standard DBS checks, often referred to as higher levels of DBS check, can only be requested by a company/organisation, and not an individual themselves. This means that those adopting or fostering, and who are eligible for an enhanced DBS check with a check against the child’s barred list, will need to have the check applied for on their behalf.
This means that DBS checks for adoption and fostering will typically be carried out by the organisation who is assessing suitability and organizing the adoption/fostering process. This may be a local council, or a registered adoption/fostering agency.
As such, DBS checks for adoption and fostering will be requested as part of the assessment process, to ensure a clear or suitable check is returned in advance of the child being placed with any individuals.
DBS Checks for Adoption and Fostering: A Summary
The importance of safeguarding means that DBS checks are a crucial part of the assessment process for those who are adopting or fostering.
So, what are the key things to remember when it comes to DBS checks for adoption and fostering?
- Adoptive and foster parents, as well as other adults in the household, will all be eligible for an enhanced DBS with children’s barred list check because of the nature of their role.
- Consider whether an applicant is eligible for a DBS volunteer check by checking the DBS criteria.
- ‘Back up’ or ‘nominated’ carers will also typically be eligible for the highest level of check if they are named by the primary foster carer as part of assessment process.
- These higher levels of DBS checks cannot be requested by those adopting or fostering themselves but should be requested by the council or agency organizing the process.
Be sure to get in touch with us if you have any further questions. You can apply for a number of DBS Checks through our simple online platform – most checks are completed within 48 hours. Get started now.