Berkshire Safeguarding Children Board Procedures
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6.1 Safety for Children in the Homes of Slough Borough Council approved Adopters and all Foster Carers (including Home from Home, Short Breaks Scheme) and in Vehicles used to Transport the Child

SCOPE OF THIS CHAPTER

This policy concerns the safety of children in approved adopters or foster carers homes and regarding the vehicles which are used to transport them.

RELEVANT CHAPTERS LEGISLATION / GUIDANCE

The Children Act 1989; Schedule 2, sections 8, 16 & 17

The Adoption & Children Act 2002

Adoption Agencies Regulations 2011

Fostering Services Regulations 2011

Health and Safety at Work Act 1974

Highway Code, Traffic Act 1988, section 38

Child Accident Prevention Trust factsheet: In Car Safety 2010

AMENDMENT

In July 2017 a link to government guidance on the use of child car seats or booster seats was added to this chapter.


Contents

  1. Safety in the Home
  2. Safety in Vehicles Used to Transport Children

    Appendix 1: Slough Children's Services Trust Health and Safety Checklist


1. Safety in the Home

All Slough Childrens Services prospective and approved adopters and foster carers must have a health and safety check undertaken prior to their application being presented at the relevant panel and subsequent approval. This health and safety check is updated on an annual basis as long as this authority holds that approval. Please see Appendix 1: Slough Children's Services Trust Health and Safety Checklist.

It is the responsibility of the supervising social worker for the adopters or foster carers to ensure that any outstanding actions are completed following the health and safety check and these will also be followed up at annual reviews or by the line manager of the social worker as appropriate.

In respect of foster carers, a Safe Caring Plan should always be in place and reviewed regularly or updated whenever there is a placement change.

Supervising social workers must always consider whether a risk assessment is needed within the home in respect of such things as contact arrangements (for foster carers within their home) or supervising children's behaviour where there are specific concerns.


2. Safety in Vehicles Used to Transport Children

The law requires all children to be carried in child restraints that are appropriate for their size, and covers children aged under 12 years if they are less than 135 cm (4ft 5 ins) in height. If a child is taller than 135 cm then they can use an adult seat belt regardless of their age. Children under the age of 3 years are not allowed to travel in the front or rear of a car unless they are in an appropriate child restraint. Children between the ages of 3 - 11 years must use an appropriate restraint in the rear of the vehicle, and there must be a seat belt that can be used to secure the child restraint.

The R129 (i-Size) legislation has made it mandatory for babies to stay rear facing until they are 15 months old.

For further details see: GOV.UK - Child Car Seats: the law.

Choosing the right car seat:

For specific information adopters or foster carers are required to refer to manufacturer's instructions for the suitability of the restraint for the child.

Disabled children may need to use specifically adapted belts known as 'disabled person's belts'. The design of these may differ from the standard lap or 3-point seat belt and are intended for use only for children with a disability as they are designed for their requirements. The regulations allow disabled person's belts or child restraints to be used instead of the standard seat belts and child restraints.

Fitting the car seat:

All car seats must be fitted properly if they are used to transport any Slough Children’s Services Trust looked after children. Therefore, adopters or foster carers should consider taking advice from someone appropriate about how to fit the seat, for example, the retailer supplying the car seat or a local safety officer.

Insurance:

All Slough Children’s Services Trust foster carers must have an insurance policy that covers them transporting looked after children. This will be viewed at their annual review alongside their car MOT, if there is one in place. All adopters and foster carers will be asked to show their driving licence during their assessments.

Transporting children with medical needs:

If adopters or foster carers need to transport a Slough Children’s Trust looked after child who requires oxygen, then the household and car insurance companies must be informed. It is also advisable to display a hazard car sticker on the vehicle to alert emergency services in the event of an accident.

If you are using a vehicle provided by the Motability Scheme then appropriate insurance must be sought.


Appendix 1: Slough Children's Services Trust Health and Safety Checklist

Click here to view Appendix 1: Slough Children's Services Trust Health and Safety Checklist.

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