DBS Checks for foster carers – the lowdown

Today we’re looking at DBS Checks for foster carers.

Foster carers can make a life-changing difference to the fortunes of children and young adults.

It goes without saying that in order to make that life-changing difference, it is vital that the right foster parents are found for the role. The first step to determining a candidate’s suitability is carrying out a DBS Check.

However it is not only the foster parents who require DBS Checks. There is sometimes confusion about which other people who come into contact with foster children must undergo one too.

This quick guide to DBS Checks for foster carers will give you the lowdown on the circumstances where a DBS Check is necessary.

DBS Checks for foster carers

Why are DBS Checks for foster carers required?

It is a legal requirement for anyone working or volunteering with children or vulnerable adults to undergo an Enhanced DBS Check.

For foster parenting, this disclosure is to ensure an applicant has not been placed on either of the two barred lists determining unsuitability for such a role – the DBS Children’s Barred List or DBS Adult First.

Enhanced DBS Checks are compulsory for foster parenting under the Fostering Services Regulations 2011. Other legislation necessitating disclosures for such a role are the Police Act 1997 and The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.

Who else needs a DBS Check?

This is an area where some councils or social service agencies will disagree, but what is indisputable is that other members of the foster care household aged 18 or over also require an Enhanced DBS Check. However, some organisations insist on disclosures for all household members over the age of 14.

While the aforementioned laws do not require anyone else to undergo a DBS Check, a standard disclosure is demanded under the Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000 for anyone involved in the care or supervision of a foster child at any time.

Moreover, an Enhanced DBS Check is needed for anyone providing such care or supervision on a regular basis.

Naturally, this does not mean that everyone who merely comes into contact with a foster child needs a DBS Check. The legislation applies to anyone who could be described as providing ‘foster carer support’.

Of course, councils and social service agencies who hire foster parents can only demand DBS Checks for such individuals if they are aware of them.

This is why many organisations insist that a foster parent discloses such relationships as part of a contract or formal agreement.

Summary: DBS Checks for foster carers

Foster parents and other household members over the age of 18 – at the very least – must undergo an Enhanced DBS Check.

Anyone else responsible for the care or supervision of a foster child or young adult should also be screened, particularly if they provide such a service on a regular basis.

If you would like to find out more about DBS Checks for foster carers, we’d be happy to provide whatever information you require.

Please email info@crb-checkonline.co.uk or call us on 0800 197 8858.