Standards and Regulations

Fostering Services National Minimum Standards:

Training, Support and Development Standards for Foster Care:

See also: Complaints by and for Children.

NSPCC - Whistleblowing Advice Line.

Whistleblowing is intended to cover concerns that fall outside of issues dealt with under the Complaints procedure.

Whistleblowing is when someone passes on information, which they reasonably believe shows wrongdoing or a cover-up by that organisation. For example, the information may be about activity that is illegal or that creates risks to the health and safety of others. The concern may relate to something that has happened, is happening or that a person may fear will happen in the future.

You should inform your Supervising Social Worker if you have any serious concerns or come across any wrongdoing.

If the concern is about your Supervising Social Worker, you should speak to a manager within the fostering service.

Before making a disclosure, or at any time during the process, you can contact support organisations for advice – see Further Information.

The decision to report a concern can be a difficult one to make, not least because of the fear of reprisal. Harassment, bullying or victimisation of a "Whistleblower" will not be tolerated.

You should raise concerns confidentially or openly and without fear of any comeback.

You should record your concerns giving names, dates and places where possible, and the reason why you are concerned. If you do not feel able to do this, the member of staff you speak to will make a written record of their conversation. Concern should be expressed as soon as possible.

The concern could be about something that:

  • Is unlawful or illegal; or
  • Is a miscarriage of justice; or
  • Against the organisation's policies
  • Falls below established standards or practice; or
  • Amounts to improper conduct; or
  • Endangers the health and safety of any person; or
  • Attempts to conceal any of the above.

The issue will be looked into and either an internal enquiry of formal investigation will take place.

You will be advised what will happen next, the likely timescale and arrangements made for contacting you and keeping you informed.

You will be informed of the outcome (there may be restrictions on this in order to maintain confidentiality for other people).

If you are not happy with the outcome, you can raise this with the Fostering Manager who deals with complaints or the Fostering Service's Responsible Individual.

If you feel that your concern has not been satisfactorily addressed and that there are no further avenues for pursuing the matter within the Fostering Service, then you can make a disclosure to a prescribed external body, including:


Children's Commissioner for England

Contact them about matters relating to the rights, welfare and interests of children in England.

The Office of the Children's Commissioner
Sanctuary Buildings
20 Great Smith Street

Tel: 020 7783 8330


Contact them about matters relating to regulation and inspection of children's social care.

Piccadilly Gate
Store Street
M1 2WD

Tel: 0300 123 3155

The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC)

Contact them about matters relating to child welfare and protection.

Weston House
42 Curtain Road

Tel: 0800 028 0285

This phoneline is staffed 365 days a year:

  • Mon-Fri (incl. bank holidays) 8am to 10pm;
  • Weekends 9am to 6pm.


The Health and Safety Executive

Contact them about the health and safety of individuals at work, or the health and safety of the public arising out of or in connection with the activities of persons at work.

Tel: 0300 003 1647
Online formwww.hse.gov.uk/contact/index.htm

Social Work England

Contact them about matters relating to the registration and fitness to practise of a social worker.

1 North Bank
Blonk Street
S3 8JY

Tel: +44 (0)808 196 2274
E-mail: enquiries@socialworkengland.org.uk
Website: socialworkengland.org.uk

Health and Care Professions Council

Contact them about matters relating to the registration and fitness to practise of a member of a profession regulated by the Health and Care Professions Council, or any other activities in relation to which the Council has functions.

Health and Care Professions Council
Park House
184-186 Kennington Park Road
SE11 8BU

Tel: 0845 300 6184

If you raise concerns which are found to be malicious, a review of your approval may happen.

Concerns which come under another procedure e.g. Child Protection will normally be referred and dealt with under the Local Multi-Agency Safeguarding Children Procedures. Where you consider that a child protection matter has arisen within the Fostering Service  and has not been dealt with appropriately, you can make a disclosure under this Whistleblowing procedure, or make a report to the relevant local authority or to Ofsted (contact details as above).

Further Information

Protect - Speak up, stop harm - Free, confidential whistleblowing advice

NSPCC Whistleblowing Advice Line - Support for professionals who are worried about how child protection issues are being handled in their workplace.

Whistleblowing for Employees (GOV.UK)

Speak Up - Support for NHS and Social Care Employees and Managers

Raising Concerns with Ofsted about children's social care services: Policy and guidance for whistleblowers (GOV.UK)