Care Day 2020 is coming up on 21st February, and we’re getting on board with a blog about fostering and adoption.

Care Day is a celebration of children and young people with experience of being in care. 

The theme for Care Day this year is reimagining, with the campaign aiming to get care-experienced children and young people to imagine the care system in their hands.

Organisations across the country will be organising events and activities to celebrate and support the campaign.

Care Day 2020: Looking at fostering and adoption

Fostering and adoption have a vital role to play in the care system. In England, three in four children in care live with foster carers

Some children and young people leave the care system to live with adoptive parents, with 3,570 children adopted from care in 2018-19.

Fostering and adoption can have an enormous impact on children’s lives. Naturally, safeguarding is incredibly important, with DBS Checks playing a vital role in keeping children safe. 

In this blog, we’ll look at DBS Check eligibility in fostering and adoption situations.

DBS Checks for foster carers

Foster carers engage in regulated activity with children as part of their fostering role. This means they need to have an Enhanced DBS Check with a check of the children’s barred list.

This also applies to any individual aged 18 or over who lives in a fostering household – or anyone aged 16 or over who lives in a private fostering household.

An Enhanced Check will show any spent or unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands or warnings the applicant has, as well as any relevant information held by their local police force. 

The children’s barred list check will show whether they have been barred from working with children.

DBS Checks for fostering household members cannot be requested as volunteer checks.

What about backup foster carers?

Backup foster carers are people who care for the child or children for periods ranging from a weekend (two overnight stays) to four weeks. They must be formally appointed by the primary foster carer.

This care could take place either at the backup carer’s home or at the primary foster carer’s home.

Backup carers will also be engaging in regulated activity, so they’ll need an Enhanced Check with a children’s barred list check.

Please note that in order to be eligible for this check the backup foster carers have to be a part of the official care plan package – this doesn’t apply to private arrangements made by foster carers.

DBS Checks for adoptive parents

As with foster carers, adoptive parents are required to have an Enhanced Check with a check of the children’s barred list, as are other members of their household aged 18 or over.

However, as the role is unpaid, they’ll be eligible for a volunteer DBS Check.

Regular visitors to fostering and adoption households

People who visit fostering or adoption households are not carrying out a formal role, and are therefore not engaging in regulated activity. This is true no matter how regularly they visit.

This means they are not eligible for an Enhanced DBS Check. They would only be eligible if they were part of the formal care package – for example, as a backup foster carer.

Instead, they could have a Basic Check. Basic Checks are available to anyone aged 16 or over, and show any unspent convictions the applicant has. 

DBS Checks in fostering and adoption

Enhanced Checks are crucial in adoption and fostering situations, as they help to ensure foster carers and adoptive parents are suitable to carry out their roles.

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.

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Our blogs are advisory in nature and reflect uCheck Limited’s current thinking about best and common practice in the subjects discussed.

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