Fostering households should have a basic first aid kit available to deal promptly with minor injuries. There should be training provided by all fostering agencies on basic first aid.
The child’s parent should have given written consent for minor first aid to be applied.
Foster carer approval
The formal decision to approve potential foster carers lies with the Fostering Panel. Applicants will be invited to attend the Fostering Panel, when their application is being considered.
Foster Carer Contract/Agreement
The Foster Placement Agreement aims to promote and safeguard the child/young person’s welfare having regard for the Local Authority’s Social Service’s long and short-term arrangements for him or her and to treat him or her as a member of the foster carer’s family.
When foster carers are approved by their Fostering Agency they are required to enter into a written agreement. The agreement constitutes a statement of responsibilities, requirements and expectations of the partnership between the Agency and the approved foster carer.
The Agreement includes the foster carer’s agreement to:
• notify Social Services immediately of any serious illness or occurrence affecting the child/young person.
• to allow the child/young person to be removed from the foster carer’s care if the Fostering Agency/Social Services considers it is no longer in the child or young person’s interests to remain.
• to attend any training sessions considered appropriate for the foster carer by the Fostering Agency
The Fostering Agency’s responsibilities to the foster carer are generally to:
• provide payment for the care of children and young people placed
• provide training, supervision, advice, information and support
• provide a fostering social worker (linking social worker).
Foster Placement Agreement
A Local Authority Foster Placement Agreement is made for each child placed with the foster carer. Both the foster carer and the child’s social worker must sign it.
The Foster Placement Agreement sets out arrangements for the agreed arrangements for the care of the individual child placed. It also serves as a confirmation of what is expected from the foster carers and the Fostering Agency or Social Services, also what has been agreed with the child’s parent. Different requirements apply when a child is placed in an emergency.
The Foster Placement Agreement covers:
• essential information necessary to care for the child, such as, the arrangements for the child; the objectives of the placement; the child’s personal history, religion, cultural and linguistic background and racial origin.
• the child’s state of health and any need for health care and monitoring
• the child’s educational needs
• support of the child during the placement
• arrangements for delegating medical consent for examination and treatment of the child.
• the circumstances on which it is necessary to obtain the approval for the child to live, even temporarily, away from the foster carers’ home.
Fostering is usually a temporary way of offering children a home until they can return to their own families. Maintaining links with the child’s family are very important whilst planning and decisions are made about the future, and the foster carer is very important in helping the child to understand and cope with the situation they find themselves in.
Types of fostering
There are different types of foster care depending on the needs of both the child and their family. These include short-term care for just a few days or weeks, to long-term placements, as well as care for disabled children or children with behavioural problems.
Categories of foster care:
When children need somewhere safe to stay for a few nights
When carers look after children for a few weeks or months, while plans are made for the child's future
When disabled children, children with special needs or children with behavioural difficulties regularly stay for a short time with a family, so that their parents or usual foster carers can have a break
When young people are remanded by a court to the care of a specially trained foster carer
Parent and child
Some parents are young or have a learning disability and do not have the benefit of a stable and supportive home to help them in acquiring the necessary skills to look after their baby.
Parent and baby foster carers provide a foster home for the parent and their baby. The foster carer plays an important role in assessing the progress of the parent in caring for their baby and contributes to the future care planning.
Not all children who need to permanently live away from their birth family want to be adopted, so instead they go into long-term foster care until they are adults
'Family and friends' or 'kinship'
A child who is the responsibility of the local authority goes to live with someone they already know, which usually means family members such as grandparents, aunts and uncles or their brother or sister
For children and young people with very complex needs and/or challenging behaviour.
This is the official form that the fostering and adoption social worker will fill in when conducting the home study part of the procedure.
It comes in two parts. The first part deals with factual information including what sort of children the applicant is seeking to foster or adopt. The second part is a more subjective assessment and profile of the applicants, based on a series of visits by the social work to the applicants' home.