Support and Supervision

Standards & Regulations

Fostering Services National Minimum Standards (England) 2011:

Training, Support and Development Standards for Foster Care:


Contents

  1. Introduction / Services We Offer
  2. Regular Supervision Meetings
  3. What Your Supervising Social Worker Will Do

1. Introduction / Services We Offer

This chapter sets out the support arrangements we offer you. As an approved foster carer, Islington fostering service will offer you supervision and support in your role. Once approved you will be allocated a Supervising Social Worker who will advise and assist you, see below.

  • The child’s social worker will give you information and advice about the care plan;
  • Foster Carers’ Support Group;
  • Islington foster care association;
  • Emergency Out of Hours advice;
  • Fostering network and Fosterline;
  • The Virtual school for educational advice;
  • The health team for health advice;
  • CAMHS for child mental health or behavioural concerns.

Supervision is an important part of practice and as foster carers it is considered a key part of your training and development and an opportunity to reflect and learn from fostering experiences. Supervision also allows you time to consider complex case dilemmas and give you space to think through and share strategies and ways of helping a child in placement with your Supervising Social Worker.

The Supervising Social Worker is responsible for ensuring you have the necessary guidance and support. This will include making regular visits, including at least one unannounced visit per year. The social worker will supervise your work to ensure you are meeting the child's needs. the supervising social worker will provide emotional and practical support and assess and support your developing fostering skills. Your supervising social worker will guide you in working within the National Minimum Standards.

The child's social worker It is the social worker for the child/young person in the foster placement who holds responsibility for specific advice or support for the child and his or her Care Plan and Placement Plan.


Support groups to help you in your role as foster carer

The Fostering Service provides and facilitates specialist support groups to help carers develop their skills together and help each other, developing their fostering skills. All approved London foster carers are expected to attend 6 out of 10 support groups. New foster carers should also attend the induction group in addition to other groups, to help them make sense of their new role.

  • New carers induction group: contact Jan Gooderham or Tara Ramsumir;
  • Baby carers: contact Carmen Graham;
  • Adolescent carers: contact Monica Thomas or Winston Griffiths;
  • Children aged 3-11: contact Amanda Baker;
  • Male foster carers: contact Ricardo Elcock or Winston Griffiths;
  • Family and friends carers: contact Ethel Ibeh;
  • Training, Support and Development Standards Portfolio groups: Contact Jan Gooderham;
  • Open University Action Learning group: contact Norma Barnes or Sonya Genus;
  • Children who foster group: contact Sam Arbuckle.

The Fostering Service will continue to meet the annual cost of subscribing to the carers' organisation, Fostering Network, for all Islington approved carers. This enables carers to use the all advice and support services provided by Fostering Network including legal protection insurance advice.

The Fostering Service will work to ensure that carers are kept fully informed about developments in the service, through regular liaison with IFCA - Islington Foster Carers Association. Islington fostering service would encourage carers to contact the Fostering Network's foster care line for independent advice about any fostering matter.


2. Regular Supervision Meetings

Frequency of supervision meetings will be agreed between the foster carer and the supervising social worker and as appears necessary in the interest of the children placed with them. Your allocated Supervising Social Worker will agree times and dates, each session will be recorded and you should receive a copy.

Supervision should be seen as a two way process to:

  • To provide information advice and guidance;
  • Reviewing practical and emotional support needs;
  • Checking standards of care;
  • Responding to comments concerns and allegations;
  • Noting significant changes in the household;
  • Managing risk, health and safety and ensuring safer care;
  • Support you in listening to the child's wishes and feelings within the child's placement plan;
  • Give Reviewing implementation of care plans for each child in placement;
  • Monitoring impact of fostering on the household;
  • Responding to carers feedbacks and concerns;
  • Identifying and supporting learning and development needs;
  • Reviewing current and future placements;
  • Checking payments and equipment needs;
  • Reviewing records;
  • Reviewing carers relationship with children placed;
  • Discuss the impact of fostering on your own family;
  • Keep you updated about new policies, procedures, training and good practice.

The supervision meetings contribute to your your annual review as a foster carer. Some aspects of the supervision session will be confidential; however, the Supervising Social Worker will discuss relevant information with the child's social worker, or other professionals working with the child or family.

As a foster carer, you are seen as a professional the best outcomes are achieved when you build an open and trusting relationship with your Supervising Social Worker.

Supervision helps you to evidence how you are developing your fostering skills, meeting the induction Standards and providing an appropriate placement for the child/young person.

The record of your supervision should be sent to you within 7 days. If you are not happy in any way with the arrangement or content of supervision, please speak to your Supervising Social Worker or a manager from the fostering service.

Your Supervising Social Worker make at least one unannounced visit per year, to look at the home environment that a child is living in and to check files are secure.


3. What Your Supervising Social Worker Will Do

Your Supervising Social Worker should ensure the following tasks are done:

After Approval

  1. Ensure you complete the induction programme and that your personal development plan and training needs are assessed and met so that you can meet the standards and achieve the Training, Support and Development Standards certificate of completion by your first annual review, or soon after if extra support is required;
  2. Give the Foster Care Agreement to you: 2 copies to be signed and one returned and placed on your file;
  3. Ensure that there is a child friendly profile to make the move into foster care easier for a child;
  4. Ensure that the fostering service knows your holiday plans to avoid disrupting a child's placement.

Before Placement

  1. Discuss and check equipment (especially in the child’s bedroom) and ensure it is appropriate to the age of the child to be placed. Complete risk assessments surrounding bedroom sharing for any child over 3;
  2. Take part in discussions about potential placements and planning meetings;
  3. Ensure that the child's social worker gives you full information about children, including a history of abuse or suspected abuse and the reason for the placement;
  4. Discuss contact with birth parents and family members;
  5. Discuss how the child’s health and educational needs are promoted;
  6. Help you with training needs for safer care practice, including skills to care for children who have been abused or training on issues affecting disabled children;
  7. Discuss financial issues with you: allowances, pocket money, leisure activities, toiletries and travelling and the importance of your insurance policy;
  8. Update Disclosure and Barring Service checks with adult of your family every three years, including those reaching 18, and other people who come to live at the home, who are 18 or over;
  9. Update medicals every 2 years as necessary;
  10. Assess and review any health and safety issues within the fostering household including the addition of any new pets and the environment in which they are kept;
  11. Where appropriate contribute to Court Reports as agreed with child’s social worker;
  12. Discuss how you can support young people into adulthood and ensure you understand the financial arrangements.