foster care agency uk

Foster Parent Handbook



Office Addresses

Purpose of the Handbook

Trauma Informed Practice

Secure Base Model

Getting it Right for Every Child

Health and Safety


Chapter 1 | Fostering Services & the Role of Foster Parents

The Legal Framework

How do children and young people get placed in foster care?

How do children and young people come to be looked after children?

What are Fostering Services?

What laws govern fostering?

The Role and Status of Foster Parents

What is a foster parent?

Terms of approval

Matching foster parents to children who need a permanence foster placement

Can children be placed with foster parents outside of their terms of approval?

Review of Approval

The usual fostering limit

Foster Parent Agreement

Foster parents and data protection

Significant changes to the foster parent/s' household

What happens if a foster parent has a new partner?

What if foster parents want members of their extended family or friends to move into the household?

What if a foster parent becomes pregnant?

Foster parents and child minding

Foster Parent Reviews

What are foster parent reviews?

Process for Internal foster parent reviews

Information collected for the review

Matters covered by the review

The review reports

Proposals to change foster parents' terms of approval

Role of the supervising social worker in relation to foster parent reviews

Fostering Panels

Who sits on a Fostering Panel?

Chapter Two | Support and Supervision

The Role of the Supervising Social Worker

What is a 'supervising social worker'?


What is supervision?

When and where should supervision take place?

What is discussed in supervision meetings?

Written records of supervision

Unannounced Visits and Inspection

Learning and Development

Learning and Development Team

Training and development for staff

Training and development for foster parents

What is the purpose of training?

What core training courses are available?

Training records and foster parent reviews

What training methods are used?

How to apply for training courses

Training attendance records

Evaluation of training courses

Foster Talk

Allegations against Foster Parents

What is an allegation?

Who will deal with the allegation?

How will the investigation be handled?

During an investigation

At the end of the Investigation

What can foster parents do if they are unhappy with the outcome?

Complaints and Representation

Principles of the complaints and representations procedure

Definition of a complaint/representation

Who can make a complaint or representation?

Stages of complaint

How will Fosterplus respond to a Stage 2 complaint?

What to do if you are not satisfied and wish a review (Stage 3)

What to do if you are still not satisfied

Chapter Three | Record-Keeping and Information

Records kept of Foster Parents

What records are kept by Fosterplus?

How does a foster parent access the records held about them?

Who else can access a foster parent's records?

Children's Case Records


What is CHARMS?

CHARMS Foster Parent Login

Guidelines on recording

How to record

Content of recording

Records on Medication

Email and SMS

Storage and Confidentiality

Data Protection

How should foster parents store any records outside of CHARMS?


Chapter Four | Placing Children and Young People

Placements Service

Matching and Risk Assessments

Foster Parent Profile

Child Friendly profile

Planned Placements

Matching and risk assessment

Risk Assessments

Review of risk assessments

Safer Sleeping

Safer Caring

Family Safer Caring Plan

Emergency Placements

Making a Placement

Information to foster parents

What information should you ask for?

Information to children/young people

Introductory meetings


Placement Planning

Placement Planning Meetings

What is a placement plan?

Timescales for the placement plan

Contents of the placement plan

Chapter Five | Care Planning and Case Reviews

The Framework for Care Planning


Contents of a Care Plan

What is a care plan?

What's in a Child's Plan?

Timeframe for drawing up a care plan

Contents of a care plan

The Child's Social Worker and Local Authority Responsibility

What are the responsibilities of the child's social worker?

How often should the child's social worker visit?

What should the child's social worker do when he or she visits?

What should foster parents discuss with the child's social worker?

Role and Responsibilities of the Reviewing Officer

Looked after Children Reviews

What is the purpose of the looked after and accommodated child's case review?

Timing of case reviews

Child protection review conferences - timing in relation to LAAC review

Preparation for looked after and accommodated child review meetings

The LAAC meeting

The report of the LAAC review meeting

Placement Stability Planning

Ending Placements

Chapter Six | Care of Children and Young People

The Child's Wishes and Feelings

Children's Guides

Participation of Children and Young People

Fosterplus young people's participation groups

Independent Advocacy Services

Why might a child need an advocate?

What does an independent advocate do?

How does a child or young person access an advocate?

Children and Young People's Commissioner

Child's Identity

Promoting a positive identity and valuing diversity

Equal opportunities

Trans-racial and trans-cultural placements

Promoting cultural identity


Dealing with discrimination

Birth certificates


What is life story work?

Ways to gather information for life story work

What happens to the life story book?

Children's Behaviour and Relationships

Self-Regulation and Behaviour Management Training

The importance of secure base

Understanding children's behaviour

Information and support to foster parents around behaviour

Availability - Approaches for helping children to build trust

Sensitivity - approaches for helping children to manage feelings and behaviour

Acceptance - approaches for building self esteem

Co-operation - approaches for helping children to feel effective – and be co-operative

Family Membership - approaches for helping children to belong

Belonging in an adoptive family, foster family or residential group

Allowing children to take risks

Discipline and Sanctions

Acceptable sanctions and punishments

Unacceptable measures of control and discipline

Physical intervention by foster parents

Recording of sanctions

Suicide and self-harm

Confiscation of dangerous, illegal or unacceptable items

Safeguarding Children / Child Protection

What is child abuse?

Staff and foster parents who are in positions of trust

Disclosure Scotland Checks

Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE)

Child Sexual Exploitation Risk Assessments

Female Genital Mutilation

Who are trafficked children?

Identifying trafficked children

Safeguarding children at risk of being trafficked

Children at risk of going missing

What to do when a child or young person is missing

Reporting the child as missing

When a Missing Child is Found

How should foster parents respond when a Missing Child is found?

Recording when a child goes missing

Payments to foster parents when a child is missing


What is bullying and how to respond?

Bullying at School

Bullying in the Community

Bullying behaviours by a child

Bullying against foster parents

Cyber Bullying

Internet Safety

What risks do the Internet and Social Networking Sites present?

What do foster parents need to do to minimise risk?

Computer security in the home

Age Classification

Social networking sites - foster parents

Social networking sites - children


Access to television, videos and adult magazines

Photography and videos

Support Network

Adults planning to stay with foster parents

Holiday with friends and relatives of foster parents

Holiday Planning Guidance

Overnight stays and visits

What information do I need to obtain when a child stays away?

Health and Well Being

Health and safety responsibilities

Health checklist when children and young people are first placed

Registration with the local GP

Health assessments

Involving parents and those with parental responsibility

Comprehensive Health Assessments


Consent to medical treatment

Health promotion

Healthy eating

Vitamins and homeopathic remedies

Physical activity

Leisure activities

Vaccinations (Immunisations)



Hepatitis A

Hepatitis B

Hepatitis C



Electronic Cigarettes



What are illegal drugs?

Talking to children and young people about drugs

What if I find drugs in my home?

Common symptoms of drug misuse

Sexual health

Consent and Confidentiality


Sexual Orientation




Mental health

What can foster parents do to promote mental health and emotional wellbeing?

Eating disorders



Death of a child


The duty and responsibilities of local authorities to promote educational achievement

National Improvement Framework

Curriculum for Excellence

Children with Additional Support Needs

Educational Outcomes

What is the role of fostering services in promoting educational achievement?

School placements – choosing a school, admissions, transitions



School uniform, equipment, transport and other school expenses

Further and higher education

Family Time

Principles of family time

The birth parents (and others with parental responsibility)

The role of foster parents in family time

Support to foster parents around family time

Restrictions on or termination of family time

Recording family time

Pathway Plans

Throughcare and After Care

What is a Staying Put arrangement?

Effect on the usual fostering limit

Financial arrangements for Staying Put Arrangements

Children with Disabilities

Why do children with disabilities need foster care?

Training and guidance

Equipment and accommodation

Children with disabilities and child abuse

Unaccompanied Asylum Seekers

Who are unaccompanied asylum seeking children?

Matching with foster parents

Support to foster parents and young people

Education and translators

Health care

Family time