Berkshire Safeguarding Children Board Procedures
View Berkshire Safeguarding Children Board Procedures View Berkshire Safeguarding Children Board Procedures

6.2.19 Preparing a Child for a Foster Placement Policy

SCOPE OF THIS CHAPTER

This purpose of this chapter is to ensure that from start to finish of a foster placement it is done in a planned way wherever possible; and that the children feels valued and part of the family, thereby increasing placement stability.

RELEVANT CHAPTERS LEGISLATION / GUIDANCE

AMENDMENT

In January 2017 revised appendices were added to this chapter.


Contents

  1. Purpose of Policy

    Appendix 1: Foster Carers Household Safe Care Plan

    Appendix 2: Placement Plan

    Appendix 3: Delegated Authority - Decision Support Tool


1. Purpose of Policy

The purpose of this policy is to ensure that from when children join the foster home until they leave, this is done in a planned way wherever possible; and that the children feel valued and part of the family, thereby increasing placement stability.

  1. Since October 2015, every foster carer approved by Slough Children’s Services Trust has had a profile available on their file to be give to the child for whom it is planned that they will care. This profile is expected to be child friendly and includes photographs and information about the foster family and their home;
  2. If the foster placement is to be a permanent one, the carers are asked to provide a 'family book' with information and photographs about the foster home and local amenities for the child. A DVD of the foster family is also provided, and these items are given to the child to keep before the start of the introductions;
  3. Similarly, if the placement is to be a permanent one, a life appreciation day is held to share information with the foster parents by professionals in order to give a fuller picture as possible to the foster family and assist them in making preparations for the child. This should take place during the introductions between the child and new family. The Family Placement Service should provide this resource and manage the meeting, including who to invite. This request should be made at least 6 weeks before the day is due to be held, so once a matching meeting has agreed that a match will be pursued, the plans for a Life Appreciation Day should be instigated;
  4. A planning meeting is held between both carers, the child's social worker and the supervising social workers of the carers - to decide on the detail of the process of the move once a placement has been identified if it is a short term one. For permanent placements this will take place at an Introductions Planning Meeting;
  5. The child's social worker will provide the child with a guide to foster placements when they first come into foster care. The social worker will take responsibility for explaining the guide to the child in the first instance, and this can then be repeated by the foster carer as appropriate;
  6. Any necessary risk assessments and a safe care plan are in place. See Appendix 1: Foster Carers Household Safe Care Plan;
  7. A new placement agreement is in place between the new carer, the child's social worker and the carer's supervising social worker. This should be drawn up at a Placement Planning Meeting and a delegated authority tool should also be completed at that meeting. See Appendix 2: Placement Plan and Appendix 3: Delegated Authority - Decision Support Tool;
  8. All LAC documents are provided to the new carer. It is the child's social worker's responsibility to provide these. (See Section 5 of this manual, Looked After Children Policies and Procedures);
  9. If it is practicable and in line with the child's care plan, the child will be able to visit their prospective placement prior to moving to live there. If the placement is to be a permanent one, there will be a period of introductions when the child will get to know the foster family and wherever possible at least one overnight visit. If the placement is to be a respite one, a shorter period of introductions will be arranged to prepare the child for the stay;
  10. Children will be encouraged to bring their personal and favourite possessions with them to the foster home. Children's belongings are moved gradually to the new placement in advance of the move so that when they arrive, many of their belongings are already in place;
  11. All foster placements will offer the children in their care access to the facilities within the home as is reasonable and practicable according to the age of the child. Household rules will be explained to the child;
  12. When the child moves on from the foster home they will be helped to understand the plans for them and supported to do so, whether it is to transfer to another placement or move on to independence. The child's social worker will take the lead in planning this work, with the current foster carer's involvement;
  13. Consideration is given to whether ongoing contact with the former foster carer would be in the best interests of the child. If it is considered that such contact is appropriate, a plan and arrangements are in place. The reason for the ongoing contact and its purpose in respect of the best interests of the child should be articulated in the placement agreement. The responsibility for making that decision will be held with the child's social worker and will also be discussed at LAC reviews if the child moves on to another foster placement. If the child moves on to adoption, the adoptive parents will hold responsibility for initiating any contact with the previous foster carers;
  14. Foster carers will be supported to appropriately maintain links with children moving on, and if the child is moving on to an adoptive or permanent placement, a date for at least one future visit by the foster carers to the new placement will be arranged at the review of introductions.


Appendix 1: Foster Carers Household Safe Care Plan

Click here for Appendix 1: Foster Carers Household Safe Care Plan


Appendix 2: Placement Plan

Click here to view Appendix 2: Placement Plan


Appendix 3: Delegated Authority - Decision Support Tool

Appendix 3: Delegated Authority - Decision Support Tool

End