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


1. Introduction

Congratulations, now you have been approved as a foster carer you will be allocated a Supervising 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 and Appeals.

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

Your supervising social worker will also help you with your Personal development plan to set out the training which will be offered to you.

Islington fostering service offers a range of special groups to help support you in your role as foster carer. It is best to start attending the groups as soon as you are approved so you can get to know everyone. There is an Induction group for new foster carers, a  group for friends and family carers, a group for carers of babies and a group for carers of primary age children, for teenage carers and for men in foster care. There are separate groups for the children of foster carers, for family based short breaks for disabled children and for supportive lodgings carers.

During your assessment you will have helped to prepare a child friendly profile so that the child's social worker can prepare a child for coming to live in your home.

It is a good idea to inform your home and car insurance that you will be fostering a child to avoid any problems later on.

Your supervising social worker will talk with you about any equipment needs and what agreement will be given to pay for any costs. Foster carers who will be looking after lots of different children will be offered a £500 float to manage the unexpected expenses. For more information please see the Fostering service finance policy.


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 life story work while a child is in placement with you.
  • Supporting and, if appropriate,facilitate contact with a child’s birth family and significant others.
  • Establishing 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.


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, is the case allocated, if not, you contact in the future.
  2. The child's name, age, sex, 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.
  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, your home and members of your family network.
  • The child/young person having a visit or an overnight visit where possible 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 their 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. It is the social worker of the child or children who holds responsibility for specific advice or support in relation to the child and his or her Care Plan and Placement Plan.


6. The Child's Placement Plan

The Supervising 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 on the day or within five days of a placement being made.

The Placement Plan covers:

  • Purpose of the placement.
  • 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 and their family.
  • When social work visits to the child and yourself will happen and any review meetings.

See Understanding Placement Plans and Looked After Reviews


7. The Children's Guide

Click here to view 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. You should go through the guide with the child/young person in terms they may understand.

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