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Salford Children's Services Procedures Manual Salford City Council website

3.12.3 Verifying Information Provided by Referees


  1. Introduction
  2. Procedure
  3. Admin Procedure

1. Introduction

In line with both Fostering and Adoption regulations personal referees must provide a written reference for the applicants and be interviewed by the assessing social worker.

It is good practice that the referees have the opportunity to read and agree the account of the interview in the format that will be presented to panel.

This brief procedure has been drawn up to outline the steps that will be taken to allow referees to verify that their views have been accurately recorded.

2. Procedure

  • The assessing social worker will ensure that there is a written reference on the paper file.
  • The assessing social worker will interview each referee in person.
  • They will write up the referee visit and send to the referee for them to verify the accuracy of the information.
  • The recording of the visit will need to be anonymised by using initials only to ensure that confidentiality is not compromised.
  • The statement regarding the weight that will be given to the reference will be omitted at this stage in deference to the sensitivities of the referees and the fact that this is the assessing social workers opinion.
  • The write up will include a space for the referees to sign that they are happy with the account, with the phrase:

    “ I have provided this information in relation to the application of ………….to adopt/foster and I can confirm that this is an accurate reflection of the visit which took place on…”

  • A copy of this signed account will be placed on the paper file for the prospective carers.
  • A statement regarding the weight to be given to the reference will need to be added after the referee’s signature prior to panel.
  • If the referees are not happy with the content of the report they should make amendments to the report, return to the assessing social worker who will amend and then return the report for signing. It is possible that the assessing social worker does not agree with the amendments made. In this case it should be recorded as a difference of opinion.
  • A stamped addressed envelope must be provided with all correspondence.
  • An assessment cannot be considered as complete, and presented to panel until the signed agreement from referees has been secured.

3. Admin Procedure

  • Assessing social worker completes written reference; add the statement verifying the account as detailed above.
  • Social worker to pass to admin worker responsible for stat checks at approval stage (presently Stacey Hughes).
  • Admin worker to send to referees, including a stamp addressed envelope. Admin worker will put CHARMS number on the letter and return stamp addressed envelope.
  • Admin worker will record that the report has been sent out on the front sheet of the paper file and on CHARMS.
  • Admin worker to enter on paper file and CHARMS when the reference is returned, and must alert the assessing social worker that the reference has been returned and agreed.
  • If the referee makes amendments to the report, admin worker to pass to the assessing social worker, who will make amendments and return to admin worker who will record and send out the amended version of the report (as above).
  • The signed report will be returned to the admin worker who will follow the process above by informing the assessing social worker and recording the return of the report.
  • The assessment is not considered to be complete until verification from the referees has been received in writing and cannot be presented to panel.
  • Panel administrators will check that verification has been received alongside all other statutory checks.

N.B. This procedure does not cover the interviews with ex-partners or children.