What happens now I am approved?

Standards & Regulations

Fostering Services National Minimum Standards (England) 2011:

The Fostering Services (England) Regulations 2011:

Training, Support and Development Standards for Foster Care:


Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Your Role
  3. What Information do I Need When a Child is Placed
  4. Meeting The Child/Young Person
  5. The Child's Care Plan
  6. The Child's Placement Plan
  7. The Children's Guide
  8. The Pledge


1. Introduction

Congratulations, now you have been approved as a foster carer you will be allocated a Fostering Social Worker from the fostering service. They will make sure you have all the information and support needed to offer the best possible placements to children and young people.

Your approval as a foster carer will be regularly reviewed, see Reviewing my Approval.

You will be asked to enter into and sign a Foster Care Agreement with the fostering service.


2. Your Role

  • Providing a safe and caring environment for the child/young person;
  • Supporting and meeting the health needs of the child/young person;
  • Ensure a child/young person’s attendance at educational settings including nursery, school, college and any placement. Encourage them to learn and help them with their homework;
  • Contributing to lifestory work while a child is in placement with you;
  • Supporting and, if appropriate, facilitating contact with a child’s birth family and significant others;
  • Supporting and, if appropriate, facilitating the transition between a fostering placement and an adoptive/other placement
  • Establishing a routine, clear boundaries and an understanding of issues that impact upon the child/young person;
  • Supporting and promoting the child’s development so they can achieve their full potential and have the best life chances;
  • Work towards the outcomes identified in the child/young persons Care Plan / Pathway Plan;
  • Work in partnership with the Fostering Agency.


3. What Information do I Need When a Child is Placed

A social worker from the fostering service will contact you when they are looking for a placement for a child/young person that is in your approval category. When they do, you need to be sure that the child/young person will be best placed with you.

It will be useful to prepare a list of questions that you may want to ask when they call. If you are unsure about any placement you must discuss this.

You may want to ask:

  1. The social workers name, and contact details;
  2. The child's name, age, how they identify in relation to gender, ethnic origin, religion;
  3. Does the child have any special dietary, cultural or linguistic needs?
  4. The child’s legal status;
  5. General picture of the family situation;
  6. What are contact arrangements?
  7. How is the child’s health, do they have any allergies or medical problems or are they currently on medication;
  8. Are they at school, nursery or placement? Are there any issues?
  9. Does the child have any communication issues;
  10. Any there any behavioural problems and how do these need to be managed;
  11. Are there any known risks from the child, e.g. aggressive or sexualised behaviour;
  12. Who will bring the child and with what clothes and belongings?
  13. When will you have full information about the child.

You need as much information as possible about a child/ young person before they come into your home.

You should receive written information before the placement from the child’s social worker. Occasionally for example in emergencies, there can be a delay.

This should be no longer than 5 days. No information can be withheld from you without a manager’s approval and this will only be in rare cases.


4. Meeting The Child/Young Person

Wherever possible there should be a period of introductions between you, your family and the child.

This should involve:

  • The child/young person receiving information about you this should be your family profile and pop up house, your home and members of your family network;
  • And where possible / appropriate, the child/young person having at least one overnight visit before a placement is confirmed.

Throughout the introduction process, you should talk to the child/young person about general information about bedtimes, meals, visitors, pocket money, school, privacy and your general high expectations about behaviour.

The child should be encouraged to talk about what they expect so they can sort out any concerns before the placement starts.


5. The Child's Care Plan

The child’s Care Plan provides information of the work that must be done to meet the needs of the child/young person.


6. The Child's Placement Plan

The Fostering Social Worker, you, the child/young person, family members and the child’s social worker will put together the Placement Plan. This is completed either before the placement, on the day or within five days of a placement being made.

The Placement Plan covers:

  • Purpose of the placement;
  • Delegated Authority;
  • Any agreements about health or educational needs;
  • The child’s personal history;
  • The child’s likes/dislikes;
  • The rules of the placement, including how the child should behave;
  • Agreements for contact between the child/young person, their family and/or relevant individuals;
  • When social work visits to the child and yourself will happen and any review meetings.

See Understanding Placement Plans and Child in Care Reviews


7. The Children's Guide

The child/young person should receive this when they start a placement. This guide will help children and young people understand about foster care and provide information that may be important to them. It will tell them about their rights and how they can contact people such as their Independent Reviewing Officer or Ofsted if they wish to raise a concern. It will also explain the information which the fostering service keeps on them and why, including who it might be shared with, and their right to access their case file.

If the child needs the Children’s Guide in another format such as in another language or Makaton the fostering service should provide it.

Kent County Council has a Child in Care Council which you should encourage the children you look after to be part of.

There are also a number of participation activities throughout the year which you should encourage your children/young people to attend.


8. The Pledge

Kent County Council has developed a Pledge for Children who are Looked after. This will tell you what young people can expect from the Local Authority whilst in our care.