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

For advice please contact: fostering@brent.gov.uk.

Working with Families and other Professionals


Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. The Child/Young Person's Social Worker
  3. The Independent Reviewing Officer
  4. Child Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS)
  5. The Looked After Children Nurse
  6. Emergency Duty Team (EDT)
  7. Commissioning and Resource Team (CRT)
  8. Adoption (Permanencey Team) Team


1. Introduction

As a foster carer you have an important part to play in the lives of children and families that you may work with.

Some children who are Looked After will go home, so it’s important for them to keep their relationships with parents and other family members.

Parents or other relatives may visit a child in your home, or the child’s social worker may feel these meetings should take place somewhere else. Contact will be set out in the child’s Placement Plan. It is important that you develop an open and honest relationship with the parents and at all times they know that the child is the most important person and their well-being is being looked after by you.

This will be difficult for parents so you need to ensure you work sensitively with them. Sometimes no matter what they have done, a child will continue to love their parents; you should never speak about parents in a negative way.

During your time as a foster carer, you will also work alongside many other professionals including your Supervising Social Worker as part of a team around the child/young person that makes sure the child’s needs are met and developed and they are safe from harm.

Professionals will include amongst others;


2. The Child/Young Person's Social Worker

Each child or young person placed in foster care will have a social worker

Their role is to:

  • Assess the needs of a child.
  • Develop a relationship with the child.
  • Plan for the child and regularly review that plan.
  • Work with you, the child and the child’s family.
  • Share information with you.
  • Identify and obtain resources so that the child’s needs are met.
  • Visit the child at the foster home within one week of the placement and then at least every six weeks for the first year. After this, it will change to every three months.

Education:

Each school will have a designated teacher for Looked After Children. You should will work with the educational settings to make sure the child is achieving what they should and that they have aspirations for their future. You will need to keep them informed of the child’/young person’s situation.


3. The Independent Reviewing Officer

Each child or young person placed in foster care will have an Independent Reviewing Officer (IRO).The IRO will meet the child before the first Looked After Review.

Sibling groups, whether or not placed together, should usually have the same IRO who will be allocated for the duration that the child is looked after.

The IRO has two roles: chairing a child’s Looked After Review and monitoring a child’s case on an ongoing basis. They can be a good source of support to you if needed when plans for a child are not going how they should although it is the child’s social worker you should try to speak to first.


4. Child Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS)

The Child and Adolescent Health Service takes referrals for Looked After Children. Some of these children due to their experiences may have higher levels of behavioural, emotional and mental health problems. Your role will be to highlight any issues of concern about a child/young person that may result in the need to refer to this service. The referral will be made by the child’s social worker. If the service is needed, you should make sure appointments are kept and work with professionals from the service.


5. The Looked After Children Nurse

You will work alongside the LAC Nurse and other health professionals to make sure the health needs of Looked After Children are met.


6. Emergency Duty Team (EDT)

The EDT service is open at night and at weekends. They operate a call service and will respond to you as soon as possible. If no one is available when you ring, leave a message. You must contact the police first if you feel you, your family or foster child are in any danger and don’t wait for EDT.


7. Commissioning and Resource Team (CRT)

Brent Commissioning and Resource Team are the first point of contact for referrals of children in need of placement including foster care. You may from time to time receive a call from CRT as they have access to all our vacant foster care placements.


8. Adoption (Permanencey Team) Team

The Adoption Team is responsible for finding adoptive families for children who cannot remain with their birth families. They will look at the child’s background, health and any special needs and find the right adoptive family. When the adoptive family is linked with a child, they have a period of introductions before the child goes to live with them. You may play an important role in supporting the child through this time and introductions. It is important that the child sees you working alongside the adoptive parents. You can also give valuable advice and support to the adoptive parents who will be feeling anxious about getting it right.