The Brent Fostering Handbook is being updated. Please do not refer to this version of the handbook.

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Reviewing my Approval and Appeals

1. Introduction

1.1 The Fostering Services Regulations 2011 provide in section 28(1) for the review of the approval of each foster parent. The review will recommend whether: a) the person continues to be suitable to act as a foster parent and his/ her household continues to be suitable; and b) the terms of his / her other approval continue to be appropriate.
1.2 Section 28(13) states that 'a foster parent may give notice in writing where upon his / her approval is terminated with effect from 28 days from the date on which the notice is received by the fostering service provider.
1.3 The following procedure outlines the steps to be taken when a foster carer tenders his/her resignation, or when a review concludes that a foster carer is not suitable to continue to act as a foster carer, or his/her household is no longer suitable.

2. Terminating a foster carer approval in response to the foster carer/s' resignation

A foster carer may at any point give notice in writing that they wish to resign from the role. The approval will be terminated with effect from 28 calendar days from which the written notice of resignation is received by the Brent foster service. Where a foster carer has given written notice of.

2.1 The Head of Service, Placements will write to the carer to acknowledge receipt of their resignation, to confirm the date on which the approval terminates, and to acknowledge the service the carers have given to the Borough.
2.2 Upon receipt of the foster carer's written notice of resignation, Brent Placement Service will within one working day send a copy of the notice to the Social Worker of any child placed with the foster parent.
2.3 This may at times also mean notifying the Placing Authority Social Worker of the foster carers wish to resign.

3. Reviewing foster carer's approval

3.1 Brent Fostering Service will review the approval of each foster carer whenever it is considered necessary and at intervals of no more than one year. The purpose of the reviewis to consider whether the foster carerand their household continue to be suitable to be approved for the purpose of fostering. In conducting the review, the Placement Service will make whatever enquiries it considers necessary to inform this judgement. The review will take into account the views of the foster carer, the child’s social worker, birth children, any child placed and the responsible authority for any child who has been in placement during the previous year / last review.
3.2 From time to time concerns may arise about carers. Such concerns may arise through complaints, allegations and concerns raised by children, their parents, and / or professionals. Any concerns raised will be fully investigated using the appropriate procedures
3.3 Where there is a serious concern for example which indicates the carer or someone in the household may have committed an offence against a child, caused significant harm to a child or has through their actions demonstrated themselves to be unsuitable to be in a position of trust of a child, , or where there has been a pattern ofseveral lesser concerns over a period of time, arrangements should be made to hold an urgent review of the foster carer/s' suitability to continue to be approved having paramount regard for the safety and welfare of children who are or may be placed.
3.4 The review may determine that the carer and his/her household is no longer suitable for the task of fostering.The Placement Service will prepare a written report setting out the findings of their review.
  3.4.1 The review report and recommendation, together with the original Form F assessment and report on carers' progress since approval, previous panel minutes plus any other relevant papers will be submitted to the Fostering Panel. The reasons for proposed termination should be clearly stated
  3.4.2 The foster carer will have the opportunity to attend the Fostering Panel and be heard. Subject to the need to protect children and deal sensitively with third partie information the foster carer should be able to read in advance any reports concerning them which are being presented to the panel and to make any further written submissions themselves. Therefore the foster carer should be furnished with reports as appropriate two weeks before the date of panel. Should the foster carer wish to make any submission, they should submit their submission to the Placement Service no later than one week before the Panel date.
  3.4.3 The Fostering Panel will decide whether or not to recommend termination of approval.
  3.4.4 The Panel recommendations are passed to the Agency Decision Maker to make the decision regarding termination.
  3.4.5 When the Agency Decision Maker considers that the foster care and the household is no longer suitable, the carer will be notified of that decision. This is known as the Qualifying Determination. You will be notified in writing setting out the reasons for this including a copy of the Panel's recommendation.
  3.4.6 The foster carer has 28 days in which to make written representations against the decision to the Agency Decision Maker or to apply to the Secretary of State for a review of the Determination by the Independent Review Mechanism (IRM). The provision of the IRM does not apply to persons being considered under Regulation 26(8).
  3.4.7 If representations are made the matter will be referred back to the Foster Panel for further consideration and the Panel will make a further recommendation to the Agency Decision Maker.
  3.4.8 If application is made to the Independent Review Mechanism (IRM), the Agency Decision Maker will take into account the IRM recommendation as well as the original Panel recommendations in making the final decision regarding termination. The Agency Decision Maker will finalise the decision and issue within 5 working days a letter confirming the decision. If the decision is to terminate, the letter will state the reasons for the termination and the date from which the termination will take effect.
  3.4.9 If no representations are made the Agency Decision Maker will finalise the decision and issue within 5 working days a letter confirming the termination stating the reasons for the termination and the date from which the termination will take effect - or the Panel considers the representations and still recommends termination of approval, the agency decision maker will proceed to make the decision.
  3.4.10 Where the Fostering Panel does not consider that there is sufficient evidence to support the termination of approval the Panel will define in writing matters for further review, e.g. where it is felt the carer might, with additional support and/or training, achieve the required standard.
  3.4.11 Once these matters have been further reviewed an updated report will be presented to the Fostering Panel. Again the foster carer should have the opportunity to attend and be heard.
  3.4.12 If a decision has been made to terminate the approval of foster carers, they will be notified in writing within 5 working days of the decision, by the Head of Service - Placements Services.