Pet Assessments

The impact of any pet within a foster carers home will be assessed to consider whether there is any risk posed to looked after children and how any risk should be managed.

The suitability of all animals in fostering situations needs to be carefully considered as part of the fostering assessment.  A formal pet questionnaire will be undertaken where necessary and other animals are considered on an individual basis.

Any applicants who have dogs classified under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 are told that they cannot be considered for fostering. The pet questionnaire includes the nature of the pet, exercise, toileting and feeding routines and any other associated environmental health issues including the pet's sleeping area.

Where there may be concerns about an animal the GSPCA will carry out an assessment of the animal and report back to the fostering and adoption team.

The pet questionnaire is completed annually as part of the health and safety checklist, where applicable.Foster carers must inform the fostering and adoption team if they obtain or intend to obtain a new pet.

Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 The following dogs, and also cross-bred pit-bulls, are dangerous dogs under the meaning of the Act:




TaskResponsible OfficerRecordTimescale
Establish what pets prospective foster carers have.Assessing Social WorkerCarers fileOn initial visit
Tell the family that they cannot be considered if they have a dog or any other animal that is considered to pose a risk to a child.Assessing Social WorkerCarers fileOn initial contact
If they have a dog, or other animal, complete pet questionnaire where appropriate, and, if they have a dog, leave BAAF article "Placing Children with Dog Owning Families".Assessing Social Worker During assessment
Carers should consult with their supervising social worker with regard to any intention to purchase a dog or potentially dangerous pet. A pet questionnaire must be completed. The potential risk of any newly acquired pet must be considered.Fostering and adoption teamPet questionnaireBy the time the dog is six months old.
Complete pet questionnaire as part of annual reviewFostering and adoption teamCarers fileAt annual review
Refer to GSPCA for assessment if necessary.Fostering and adoption team.Carers fileAs appropriate