Dogs and pets in fostering and adoption

Dogs and pets in fostering and adoption

Paul Adams


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What are the issues to be considered when foster carers and adopters have pets? How can workers, parents and carers help to ensure children’s safety around animals? What points need to be considered in a pet assessment to help ensure a successful, safe placement for the child and the family?

This Good Practice Guide has been developed alongside assessment forms for dogs and other pets, and provides advice on completing these forms, with samples included for guidance. It will be helpful in assisting fostering services and adoption agencies to develop carefully considered, logical and proportionate policies in relation to dogs and other pets.

Who is this book for?

Social workers, foster carers, adopters, panel members and policy-makers.

What you will find in this book

The guide provides a wide range of information and essential practical advice including:

  • information about dogs and the law, and the relevance of breed
  • the advantages and disadvantages of dog ownership for foster carers and adopters
  • how to successfully undertake a dog assessment, including how to judge when a further specialist assessment is required
  • how to help ensure that children and animals can both live safely together
  • points to consider in matching, introductions and throughout placement
  • general principles and specific considerations regarding other pets, including cats, horses, birds and reptiles


Paul Adams:
Paul Adams was CoramBAAF’s Fostering Development Consultant. He has worked as a social worker, primarily in local authority children’s services, managing child care and fostering teams. He has authored Good Practice Guides on a range of subjects, and has developed a number of forms and good practice guidance.