Ending a Placement

Standards & Regulations

Fostering Services National Minimum Standards (England) 2011:

Training, Support and Development Standards for Foster Care:

Usually when you have a child/young person placed with you it may end when:-

  • The child returns to their family or a friends and family placement or special guardianship.
  • The child has a planned move to another placement.
  • The young person is old enough to live independently.
  • The child/young person is adopted or a special guardianship order is made - either by another family or possibly by you.

Wherever possible when a placement is coming to an end, a plan should be developed to move the child/young people. The child/young person might be feeling worried about what is going to happen to them even if the move is one that they feel positive about. Children will communicate their worries through their behaviour and cannot always tell us how they feel.

You may feel anxious about the child/young person’s move too, this is natural, that’s why it is important for everyone that there is a clear plan about what will happen and who will do what. It is really important that you talk to your Supervising Social Worker about your feelings about the move and how it is affecting the child, especially if you think that the move is not in the child’s best interests.

Useful Tips

Your support is very important to the child or young person in preparing for the move and you should be positive about it even if it is in difficult circumstances. When you are talking to the child about the move be positive about why they are moving and what will happen. The fostering and adoption service have story books for young children which can help them understand the move.

Plan "goodbyes" for friends and family members that the child is close to.

It will help the child and the new family if you put together information about the child/young person’s daily routine, likes/dislikes and any other important information.

It is best for the child if they have photographs, life story book and other information about the time that they have spent with you to take with them.

Please pack all their important documents such as passports, savings books, birth certificates, etc. as they are easily lost for looked after children.

You should provide clear instructions about any medication or appointments the child may have as again these are frequently missed when a child moves.

The child’s belongings should be moved in a suitcase or holdall, never in bin liners.

Let the child know what contact they may have with you in the future and provide them with photographs and mementoes of their time with you. It is nice to have a small celebration of their time with you to enable a positive goodbye whatever their age.

If a placement ends without this being planned, a disruption meeting may be held. A disruption meeting is an opportunity for everyone who has been involved in the child/young person’s care to look at what has happened, what went well and what could have gone better. This helps not only you as a carer but may help the child in future placements.