Information for Foster and Adoption
Agencies and Social Services Departments
As a certified clinical animal behaviourist, I am frequently requested by child adoption and fostering agencies to assess the animals of potential and current adoptive parents or foster carers. I prefer a member of the agency staff to be present during the assessment. I will undertake independent assessments for foster carers or adoptive parents, but only with the agreement of the relevant agency and if a member of the agency’s team is also present at the assessment.
During an assessment the pet’s background is recorded and the pet’s temperament and behaviour assessed. Following this, my findings will be discussed with the family and agency member and advice will be given regarding any management strategies that might enhance the pet’s capacity to cope within the environment and that will enhance the safety and welfare of a child placed in the home. I then prepare a detailed report which is sent to the adoption or fostering agency. Unless requested otherwise, a copy of the report is also usually sent to the family.
The assessment process involves:
• A home visit lasting approximately two – three hours
• The assessment
• A discussion with the family and agency staff member regarding my observations
• Advice to the family regarding enhancing the safety of a cared for child living with the assessed pet
• Preparation of a report for the agency, including:
▪ How well the pet is currently coping within the home environment
▪ How the pet’s level of coping (and hence it’s likely recourse to aggression) is likely to change with the arrival of a child within the home
▪ How the family can improve the pet’s management and hence the pet’s capacity to cope, to reduce the likelihood of injury to a child placed in the home
▪ A professional opinion on the overall risk that the pet may pose to a child placed within the home
The cost of an assessment for a single dog is £250.00 plus the visit charge
Visit charges are based on the distance travelled from my clinic.
Minimum visit charge (covering a 20 mile radius from the clinic that includes visits to Llanelli, Swansea, Port Talbot, Carmarthen, Llandeilo): £40.00
For distances further than a 20 mile radius from the clinic, a charge will be made of: £40.00 plus 45p per mile from SA14 8JW
Some households will care for several pets, please contact the office for a quote for multi-pet households.
Once you have made an appointment for an assessment, please forward the following ‘Owner Questionnaire’ to your clients and ask them to complete it and then to return it to Companion Animal Behavioural Referrals, as soon as possible.