Reviewing my Approval and Appeals


Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Terminating Your Approval in Response to Your Resignation
  3. The Annual Review Process
  4. Review of Decision - What can you do if you Disagree with the Decision


1. Introduction

Once you have been approved, your Fostering Social Worker will work with you to support you in caring for children placed with you. Their role is also to monitor and help you in your development as a carer.

Your approval will be reviewed at these times:

  • Annually - your first review will also go to the fostering panel;
  • If there is a significant change to your family circumstances;
  • Following an allegation;
  • If you or the fostering service want to change the terms of your approval.

See Allegations and Complaints Against Foster Carers (Kent Children's Services Procedure Manual).


2. Terminating Your Approval in Response to Your Resignation

You may at any point give notice in writing that you wish to resign from the role. The approval will be terminated automatically within 28 calendar days from when the resignation is received even if you decide to withdraw your resignation.  


3. The Annual Review Process

Your Fostering Social Worker is responsible for your approval which is reviewed at least once a year. The purpose of the review is to decide whether you continue to be foster carer and if so whether your terms of approval should stay the same. If it is proposed to revise the terms of approval, a letter will be sent to you setting out whether as a result of this, you or members of your household (including any children placed there) may have additional support needs and how those needs will be met. Where your agreement is received, the decision to revise your terms of approval would be made immediately.


Step 1 - The Report

Your Fostering Social Worker will visit you and is responsible for writing the annual review report by putting together useful information and doing the following:

  • Talk to you or both carers, and seek the views of your own children, fostered child/young person, other significant members of the household - to find out their views;
  • Gather feedback from your previous and current children's social workers about the placements you have provided/are providing since the last review;
  • Look at information regarding any complaints or allegations made against you or your family;
  • Look at the training you have completed, and future training needs;
  • Update a health and safety checklist;
  • Review your family’s Safer Caring policy, if appropriate;
  • Update your PDP;
  • Provide a recommendation for your suitability and what kind of placements suit you - your approval category.

You will need to prepare for your annual review by gathering information which shows how you have helped promote the outcomes for the child and how you have met the standards as a foster carer.

Your Fostering Social Worker will share the report with you and will ask you to add your views and sign it.

If you are not happy with any of the areas in the report, you must speak to your Fostering Social Worker.

Your Fostering Social Worker will also complete at least one unannounced visit each year.

A Disclosure and Barring check will also be completed for you and your family every three years.


Step 2 - The Fostering Panel

Your Fostering Social Worker will need their manager to approve their report particularly when it is your first review or following an allegation about your family.

Your Fostering Social Worker will present the report to the fostering panel and you may attend if you wish. The fostering panel would also need to consider a change to the terms of your approval if this was suggested in your review report.

If your review report is not going to the fostering panel, your Fostering Manager will make a recommendation about any areas for development which will then be sent to you.


Step 3 - The Decision Making Process

The fostering panel or the Manager will recommend whether or not the approval category is still appropriate for you. If the review is heard at the fostering panel the panel recommendation will be sent to the Fostering Agency Decision Maker for a decision. The decision will be sent to you in writing.


4. Review of Decision - What can you do if you Disagree with the Decision

If you do not agree with the decision, you must contact the Agency Decision Maker  in writing within 28 days of receipt of your decision. You may ask for a review of the decision by either the agency or the Independent Review Mechanism (IRM).

If you ask for the decision to be reviewed by the Agency you will need to put in writing any information that you would want the panel to consider. You will be invited to attend the panel and make representation on your behalf. The Agency Decision Maker will then make a further decision taking into account all of the info presented.

Following this final decision no further representation can be made to the agency or the IRM.

The Independent Review Mechanism is a review process conducted by a review panel independent of the fostering service; it is not an appeal process. If you decide to refer to the Independent Review Mechanism, they will receive all the appropriate reports within 10 working days of their written request (see also Information about the IRM for Foster Carers).

They will be able to review recommendations made by the fostering service but the fostering service's Decision Maker will make the final decision.

The only circumstance where you cannot ask for a review by an Independent Review Panel is if you are disqualified or have been cautioned for an offence.

Written notice of the final decision and reasons must be sent to you within 7 working days of the receipt of the Independent Review Mechanism recommendation.