Recording

You will receive a weekly email with a link to complete an online form for your regular recordings.. Particular care needs to be taken when recording incidents or events of significant concern such as serious accidents, concerns about or disclosures of abuse. If this happens you should contact your supervising social worker as a matter of urgency and share your concerns and recording with them immediately.

 

Foster carers must keep a daily log in relation to their fostering activities for many reasons. Some of the main ones are:

 

  • To gain an awareness of daily routines and developments whilst the child is in placement

 

  • To assist in making plans for the future

 

  • To act as evidence in the event of disagreements about things which have taken place.

 

Routine recording should be done on electronically on GLF Base. Particular care needs to be taken when recording incidents or events of significant concern such as serious accidents, concerns about or disclosures of abuse. If this happens you should contact your supervising social worker as a matter of urgency and share your concerns and recording with them immediately.

 

In such serious situations you should write down the exact words people said, or what you noticed and the circumstances in which you became concerned. Describe what happened as objectively as possible without giving your opinion on the event. Make a note of other people who witnessed the incident and record, sign and date the information whilst it is fresh in your mind.

 

If anyone has been significantly hurt or was at risk of serious injury a GLF incident report should be completed and sent to the office at the first opportunity.

 

All recording should be kept in a totally confidential and any paper work which is not electronic should be kept in a locked cupboard or filing cabinet if.

 

You should routinely share your recording with your supervising social worker and the child’s social worker.

 

Recording will be discussed in your supervision sessions and your supervising social worker will be able to help you understand what is expected of you.

 

You should try, in your recording, to distinguish between facts known to you, ‘facts’ told to you by other people and your own or other people’s opinion.

 

You should record both the good and the bad things which happen particularly if they are unusual.

 

Significant events in your own family may be relevant to fostering so should be recorded alongside those things which only relate to foster children.

 

Your foster child’s state of health and any medical treatment they may receive should be recorded.

 

Significant illness requiring medical treatment should be reported to your supervising social worker and the child’s social worker.

 

Any minor accidents or injuries foster children sustain.

 

Accidents which require medical attention should also be recorded on GLF’s incident report and sent to your supervising social worker or the office at the first opportunity.

 

Routine medical, dental and ophthalmic appointments.

 

School attendance and your contact with school.

 

Contact with the child’s family or family friends and the foster child’s response to it. Note whether or not supervision and transport arrangements are satisfactory.

 

Visits from related professionals e.g. social workers.

 

Telephone calls you make to these people.

 

Other visitors to your house – with observations about how the foster children relate to them.

 

Any worrying behaviour displayed by your foster children or your own children.

 

Every month you will be sent a monthly report form for each foster child you have living with you. You should use your daily log to transfer the information requested on to this form which summarises key things that we need to keep track of. The completed form should be returned to the office promptly.

 

Twice a year you will be sent a longer form (which replaces the monthly report for that month) which collects important information which GLF needs to gather so that we can be sure that we are delivering the service to children that we have promised.

 

Physical Restraint of Children and Young People

Physical Restraint of Children and Young People

 

Physical restraint should not be used. This type of intervention may cause further potential problems and is likely to escalate the situation.

 

Where

 

  • There is risk of serious harm to the child / young person or other people present;

 

  • Or serious damage to property is likely to occur;

 

The safest thing for a carer to do is to withdraw from the risk and to help anyone else at risk to also withdraw from the risk.

 

Once everyone is safe then if the situation still requires it the foster carer should call the police for assistance.

 

After everything has calmed down;

 

  • You must record the incident carefully

 

  • You must inform your supervising social worker and the child’s social worker of the incident at the first opportunity

 

  • You must complete a GLF incident report and send it to the office as soon as possible after the event.

 

OFSTED

OFSTED is an independent non-governmental public body set up to inspect educational and social care organisations such as fostering agencies like GLF.

GLF is inspected once a year to ensure that we are complying with all legal requirements and are providing a good service.

As part of their inspection staff from OFSTED will want to speak to foster carers about their experience of the agency.

GLF staff and foster carers should cooperate with all reasonable requests made by the inspection team.

Foster carers, foster children and others can also contact OFSTED if they are unhappy about the way in which GLF has dealt with them and they have been unable to resolve the difficulty directly with the agency.

Their address and telephone number are as follows:

OFSTED

Piccadilly Gate

Store Street

Manchester

M1 2WD

 

Email: [email protected]

 

Contact form

https://contact.ofsted.gov.uk/contact-form

 

General enquiries: 0300 123 1231

 

About concerns: 0300 123 4666

 

Fax: 0300 123 3159

 

The Ofsted helpline is open Monday to Friday from 8.00am to 6.00pm.

Mementoes

Most families keep mementoes of their children’s baby and childhood – things like first shoes or birthday cards. Very few families don’t have a photograph album with photographs of their children at every stage of their growing up. They also have a stock of stories and memories which they share with their own children over the years. However foster children’s lives are disrupted and all too often nobody keeps these memories and mementoes for them.

 

GLF expects foster carers to do this for foster children whilst they are living in their home. Most foster children will not stay in the same family throughout their childhood so foster carers need to be more organised than birth families at recording the significant things that happen to children.

 

GLF foster carers should therefore keep a photograph album or scrap book for each foster child placed with them. Photographs of the child, the foster family, places they have visited together and any other things of importance to the child should be kept in this book.

 

Foster carers should always write something about who the photographs are of and when they were taken. They or the child could also write an account of special events like birthday parties, outings shared or funny things which have happened.

 

This book will be a permanent record of the placement for the child and should go with the child when they leave the placement.

 

Some mementoes cannot be kept in a book so foster carers should also keep a memory box in which they store items for the child to take with them if and when they leave. Things like school exercise books or toys which the child was especially attached to but has grown out of.

 

Supervising social workers will ask to see children’s albums and what has been kept in their memory box from time to time.

Medication

Foster carers should ensure that they have clear information about any medication that a child is taking at the time of placement.  If this information is not given in writing, the foster carer should record it themselves immediately.

 

Fostered children should only be given medication on the basis of medical advice. This may be medication that has been prescribed for them by their doctor or “over the counter” medicines given on the advice of the GP, NHS Direct, pharmacist or other qualified medical practitioner. This advice should be recorded.

 

In some longer-term placements, the local authority may delegate authority to the foster carer to make decisions about over the counter medication. If this is part of the placement plan then any conditions stipulated must be observed.

 

Before giving medication, foster carers should check the instructions on the bottle and read the leaflet enclosed with the medication about any reasons not to use it and potential side effects. If there are any doubts about the suitability of the medication, medical advice must be sought.

 

Immediately after giving medication foster carers should record the time and dose given. When several people are involved in giving a child medication they must all record in the same place.

 

Taking responsibility for their own medication may be an important part of moving towards independence for older young people, especially those needing on going medication. If you consider that a young person should take responsibility themselves for taking medication you must discuss this with the young person’s social worker before letting it happen.

 

Both prescribed and over the counter medication must be stored safely and with an awareness of the risks of accidental use and deliberate self-harm. Left over medicines should be disposed of safely.

 

Life Story Work

Life & Placement story work helps children to know about, understand and come to terms with their life so far. It is often part of a child’s Care Plan and is usually undertaken by social workers but foster carers are often asked to play a part.

 

The worker collects as much information as they can about the child’s life to date. They then sit down regularly with the child to make a Life Story Book together.

 

The Life Story Book becomes the child’s record of their life as they understand it when the book is written.  The degree to which it takes account of the full complexity of the child’s history as adults understand it will vary according to the age and understanding of the child.

 

Children may visit previous families with whom they have lived, or the place where they were born as part of their Life Story Work.

 

Children who spend much of their childhood in care may need to make more than one Life Story Book.

 

Foster Carers should help children to keep their Life Story Books safe. Children have been known to destroy them along with all the precious photographs, stories and other memorabilia they contain.

Legal Status of Foster Children

Foster Carers must make sure that they know the legal status of any foster child placed in their home.

 

The rights and responsibilities of their parents and the local authority will differ according to the legal status of the child.

 

Children will either be:

Accommodated under Section 20 of the Children Act or

In Care on one of the following legal orders:

Police Protection Order (PPO)

Emergency Protection Order (EPO)

Interim Care Order (ICO)

Full Care Order (CO)

Section 20 – Accommodation

 

When children are accommodated their parent retains full ‘parental responsibility’ for them. This means amongst other things that they can remove the children from a foster home without permission from social services.

 

Foster carers must make sure that they know who has parental responsibility for accommodated children if only to know who has the legal right to remove them from the foster home.

 

Mothers always have parental responsibility.

 

Fathers who are married to their child’s mother have parental responsibility as do fathers who appear on the child’s birth certificate after January 2006 (Adoption and Children Act 2002).

 

Unmarried fathers and other people with whom the child lived prior to being accommodated may have acquired parental responsibility through the courts.

 

Although those people with parental responsibility have the legal right to remove children from the foster home, foster carers should discourage them from doing this in an unplanned way.

 

Foster carers must get immediate advice from their supervising social worker if anyone wants to remove a child from the foster home if this has not previously been agreed with the child’s social worker.

 

Although children are usually accommodated at the request of a person who has parental responsibility for them they can also be accommodated if their parents’ whereabouts are unknown or if nobody has parental responsibility for them. Young people over the age of sixteen can also ask to be accommodated in their own right.

 

 

 

Legal Orders which foster children may be subject to;

 

Emergency Protection Order

 

An order which gives the applicant (usually a social worker) the power to remove a child to a place of safety (such as a foster home) for a period of up to eight days. In certain circumstances this can be extended by a further week.

 

Parents and certain other people can challenge the EPO in court after 72 hours.

 

Whilst the Emergency Protection Order is in force the child cannot be removed from the foster home without the permission of the child’s local authority.

 

Foster carers should make sure that if they take a child on an EPO they are given a copy of the order.

 

Foster carers should find out what the child’s legal status becomes at the end of the order.

 

Police Protection Order

 

Much the same as an EPO except that it is set up by the police and cannot be extended beyond 72 hours.

 

Foster carers should be given a copy of the order.

 

Foster carers should find out what the child’s legal status becomes at the end of the order.

 

Interim Care Order

 

An order made by a court placing a child in the care of a local authority for a specified period of time usually a few weeks.

 

Anyone who had parental responsibility prior to the making of the order keeps it but shares responsibility with the local authority.

 

In practice this means that nobody should remove a child on an Interim Care Order from a foster home without the permission of the local authority social worker.

 

Full Care Order

 

A court order placing a child in the care of a local authority until the child reaches the age of 18 unless that order is ended by the court.

 

People who had parental responsibility prior to the making of the order share that responsibility with the local authority for the duration of the order.

 

Children on a full care order should not be removed from a foster home without the permission of their local authority social worker.

Learning and development

This learning is done by attending regular GLF training courses, and at least 3 TSDS sessions. This develops carers understanding of GLF’s practices and the thinking underpinning them. The sessions focus on using carers’ experience to show that they have met the TSDS requirements and identifying any areas where further learning is needed.

Sometimes we recognise that the whole of GLF needs to improve an aspect of our service and so we will identify this in everyone’s PDP and run this training a number of time to enable everyone to attend. We ask all foster carers to attend mandatory training on First Aid, Safeguarding including Managing Allegations at least every three years.

Learning and Development Programme

 

GLF is committed to providing the best possible care for children by giving carers and staff the support, training and development opportunities they need to undertake this challenging role. We want the whole organisation to improve by learning from everyone’s experience.

 

Stage 1: Preparation Training

 

This is done through the Skills to Foster course. This introduces applicants to what fostering with GLF involves. It starts people thinking about the role of foster carers; heritage and identity; working with families and professionals; the needs of children who have been abused and the safer caring implications for foster carers; helping children manage their behaviour; and helping children to move on in a positive way.

These are all topics that carers will need to think more about in the light of experience.

 

Stage 2: Induction

 

After approval all GLF carers will have an individual induction programme carried out in their home with their supervising social worker and a member of the Referral and Assessment Team before they are ready to take their first fostered child. This covers the essential policies and procedures that they will need to know about to get started. It will also involve agreeing a professional development plan (PDP), drawing on the information contained in the assessment about their skills and areas for development.

 

The development plan will always include achieving the Training, Support and Development Standards (TSDS) by the end of the first year after approval. These are a set of nationally recognised standards covering the things that all foster carers must know about by the end of that first year of fostering.

 

This learning is done by attending regular GLF training courses, and at least 3 TSDS sessions. This develops carers understanding of GLF’s practices and the thinking underpinning them. The sessions focus on using carers’ experience to show that they have met the TSDS requirements and identifying any areas where further learning is needed.

 

The evidence of this learning is collected in a portfolio which is evaluated by GLF’s Training Manager. This portfolio identifies what the carer needs to learn about next and this is recorded in a new professional development plan.

 

Stage 3: Continuing professional development

The professional development plan sets out things the carer would like to learn more about and skills that they would like to develop further in order to develop as a foster carer. It also set out how this will be achieved and the timescale. Some development is done through supervision or coaching from another foster carer; some is done through reading or the internet; other learning is done through courses, either run by GLF or other organisations; and others learn by supporting and training other foster carers. Sometimes we recognise that the whole of GLF needs to improve an aspect of our service and so we will identify this in everyone’s PDP and run this training a number of time to enable everyone to attend. We ask all foster carers to attend mandatory training on First Aid, Managing Challenging Behaviour and Safeguarding including Managing Allegations at least every three years.

 

At each annual review your PDP will be re visited and you will be asked to give feedback on the quality of the training and development you have received. You and your supervising social worker will agree a new PDP for the year ahead and this information is used to draw up GLF’s on-going training programme.

 

The training programme includes some courses which run regularly because they cover an area that we know lots of carers will need to learn about while others are specially arranged in response to particular needs that arise over time. Sometimes we recognise that the whole of GLF needs to improve an aspect of our service and so we will identify this in everyone’s PDP and run this training a number of time to enable everyone to attend.

 

In addition, all carers approved for parent and child placement, must attend Parent and Child Placement training prior or immediately after a parent and child placement is made.

Insurance for Foster Carers

Insurance for Foster Carers

Insurance is particularly important for foster carers and each family needs to regularly think about whether or not they have the best possible insurance policies in place. For instance, if a foster child lost all their possessions in a house fire or a burglary the child, the child’s parents, the local authority and GLF would expect the carers to have a contents insurance in place which would replace the lost items quickly.  Replacement costs would be huge and this without taking into account any losses the family itself suffered where there would be slightly more scope for replacing things slowly. Not having an insurance policy would not be accepted as a good enough reason for not replacing the missing things.

Make sure you have a contents insurance policy.

Most insurance companies are happy to include foster children as members of the household for insurance purposes but you should tell them in writing that you are foster carers just in case they take a different view. If they do you should probably think about changing your insurance company.

Tell the insurance company in writing that you are fostering.

One of the particular risks of fostering is that foster children will steal or damage the family’s things. Until recently it has been impossible for foster families to insure themselves against this happening. Bollingtons is the company GLF uses for its insurance has now developed a contents policy which is specifically designed for foster carers and does insure against wilful damage caused by foster children. This policy allows foster carers to decide at what point they want to make an insurance claim for replacement or repair for which their foster children were wilfully responsible. So they could for instance choose a £100 or £150 starting point (excess) which would mean that many incidents of malicious damage would then be covered by insurance. Now that such insurance exists and local authorities are short of money it may be even more difficult than in the past to persuade local authorities to pay for such damage. Bollington’s details are as follows:

http://www.bollington.com/Care/foster-carer-home-insurance.html

Find out about insurance against wilful theft or damage by foster children

Some contents insurance policies (called all risks policies) cover accidental damage whilst other (usually cheaper) policies do not. As foster children generally are probably more accident prone than most, foster carers should think carefully about whether or not this is insurance they should have.

Think about whether or not to take out all risks insurance

GLF has insurance in respect of all its foster carers which is designed to deal with those exceptional risks of fostering which carers cannot cover themselves. The insurance is only operative where damage arises from the actions of foster children living with the foster carers and in certain circumstances the foster child’s parents. The insurance covers wilful damage costing more than £500 to replace or repair and is meant to deal with bigger losses than individuals might choose to insure themselves for. This policy is meant to supplement the carer’s own policy so claims must first be made on the family’s own insurance policy

 In all circumstances you must claim on your own insurance policy first.

This learning is done by attending regular GLF training courses, and at least 3 TSDS sessions. This develops carers understanding of GLF’s practices and the thinking underpinning them. The sessions focus on using carers’ experience to show that they have met the TSDS requirements and identifying any areas where further learning is needed.

Sometimes we recognise that the whole of GLF needs to improve an aspect of our service and so we will identify this in everyone’s PDP and run this training a number of time to enable everyone to attend. We ask all foster carers to attend mandatory training on First Aid, Safeguarding including Managing Allegations at least every three years.

 

Initial Placement Agreement

Initial Placement Agreement

 

Supervising social workers will complete a GLF initial placement agreement with foster carers and, if they are old enough to participate, foster children as soon as they arrive in placement (or within 48 hours if it cannot be done immediately). Agreements reached are subject to confirmation or change at the placement planning meeting.

 

 

Greater London Fostering

Child Placement Agreement

 

This agreement is meant to ensure that all significant matters in respect of the placement are addressed. It should normally be completed at the Placement Planning Meeting but if for any reason this is delayed the GLF supervising social worker and foster carer should complete this form on a provisional basis. It is useful to complete some of this form over the telephone with the L.A. Social Worker prior to the Placement Planning Meeting.

 

Greater London Fostering staff and carers will participate in making plans for the child/YP in a spirit of partnership with the child/YP, their families and placing local authority. Carers will be expected to comply with plans which have been made by the parties of the placement to the best of their ability.

 

In addition to this form the ‘Delegated Authority Tool’ must be completed.

 

 

BASIC INFORMATION
Carer’s name(s)   Placement Address  
Child/YP’s name:                            D.O.B   Home Address  
Child/YP mobile number   Date of start of placement  
Expected duration of placement   Legal status of child/YP  
Child/YP religion   Carers religion  
Child/YP ethnicity   Carers ethnicity  
CHILD/YP’S SIBLINGS IN PLACEMENT
Child/YP   Relationship to Child/YP  
Child/YP   Relationship to Child/YP  
Child/YP   Relationship to Child/YP  
CHILD/YP’S SIGNIFICANT FAMILY MEMBERS INCLUDING SIBLINGS IN PLACEMENT
Name   Relationship to Child/YP  
Telephone number   email address  
Mobile number   Address  
Any restrictions for contact including telephone contact and any action required if they come to the placement.
 
Name   Relationship to Child/YP  
Telephone number   email address  
Mobile number   Address  
Any restrictions for contact including telephone contact and any action required if they come to the placement.
 
Name   Relationship to Child/YP  
Telephone number   email address  
Mobile number   Address  
Any restrictions for contact including telephone contact and any action required if they come to the placement.
LOCAL AUTHORITY & SOCIAL WORKER INFORMATION
L.A. for child/YP   Child/YP’s SW  
Telephone number   email address  
Mobile number   Out of Hours  
CHILD/YOUNG PERSON’S NURSERY/SCHOOL/COLLEGE
Name of School   Address of School  
Telephone number   email address  
Tutor   Head of Year/School  
OTHER KEY PROFESSIONALS INFORMATION
Role of Professional   Name  
Telephone number   email address  
Mobile Number   Address  
Role of Professional   Name  
Telephone number   email address  
Mobile number   Address  
       
Role of Professional   Name  
Telephone number   email address  
Mobile number   Address  
MATCHING CONSIDERATIONS

 

Carer/s must do everything they can to support this child’s cultural identity, preserve pre-existing religious affiliations and promote the child’s general self-esteem. In order for this to occur, the following will be undertaken. (How will any gaps regarding religion, ethnicity and other identified needs be met?)

 
SAFER CARING POLICY

A separate SCP must be written for each child in placement & be reviewed regularly.

OBJECTIVES OF THE PLACEMENT
EDUCATIONAL NEEDS

 

Placement strategy for Educational needs. Specify any S.E.N. and levels of Homework supervision etc. Carers are expected to ensure that child/YP attends school/college/work placement. How will the carer enable the child to get to and from school? How will the carer maintain contact and work in partnership with the child’s school?

 
PHYSICAL HEALTH NEEDS

Placement strategy for Physical Health needs. Include exercise, healthy diet, health checks etc.  Is the child currently receiving any medication? If so, what are the details regarding the administering of medication? Does the carer require any specific training to administer specific medication?

 

Carer(s) must promote good health care: This child must be registered with the FCs GP (unless own GP is local) within one week and must be seen by a dentist, optician, health visitor (as applicable) within one month and thereafter regularly.

 
MENTAL HEALTH NEEDS

 

Placement strategy for Mental Health needs. Include consistent boundaries, CAMHS, school counsellors, TLC etc.

 
FAMILY (& SIGNIFICANT OTHERS) CONTACT NEEDS

 

Placement strategy for Contact. Include promoting contact, schedule for contact, telephone contact etc.

 
PREPARATION FOR INDEPENDENCE

 

Placement strategy for preparation for independence. Include specific targets to achieve e.g. keeping own room tidy, getting self-dressed, budgeting and preparing a meal etc.

 
SOCIAL ACTIVITIES

 

Placement strategy for encouraging positive social activities. Include after school & weekend organised activities e.g. swimming, scouts. Also, how school friendships will be encouraged etc.

 
DIVERSION FROM CRIMINALITY NEEDS

 

Placement strategy – YOT, Positive activities i.e. Youth Clubs etc.

 
PROMOTING GOOD BEHAVIOUR

 

Placement strategy Include incentives etc. (This should make reference to specific ‘Fostering Changes’ tools and methods)

 
OTHER

 

Placement strategy

 
FOSTER FAMILY HOLIDAYS

 

It is an expectation of all GLF carers that they should include foster children in their plans for family holidays. In order for this to happen, the following will need to be actioned: E.G. Passports, visa’s, parental permission, court permissions etc.

 
RULES AND CONSEQUENCES
Is child/YP allowed out during the week?  
What is the home time during the week?  
Is child/YP allowed out during the weekend?  
What is the home time during the weekend?  
What will be the consequence of coming in after home time? When should the child/YP be reported as missing?  
  • Children/YP is asked to be considerate of the daily routines of the foster carer.
  • Smoking is only allowed in designated outdoor areas.
  • No drugs or alcohol to be used.
  • Children/YP is expected to dress appropriately when in any communal area.
  • Children/YP are not permitted to place any photographs of the foster carer’s home or family on Facebook or any other social network without the foster carer’s permission.
  • Children/YP must allow the foster carer, GLF supervisor and LA SW access to their bedroom when requested.
What are the carers’ house rules?

What are the consequences for any breach rules or placement agreement? (Specify rule = consequence)

Rule Consequence for any breach
   
FINANCIAL ARRANGEMENTS

The fostering allowance for children under the age of 11 is currently £142 per week – of which at least £75 must be spent on the items listed below. Foster carers are expected to keep records of their expenditure on these items and this will be monitored by their supervising social workers.

 

The fostering allowance for children aged 11 plus is currently £162 per week – of which at least £90 must be spent on the items listed below. Foster carers are expected to keep records of their expenditure on these items and this will be monitored by their supervising social workers.

 

Financial arrangements need to be reviewed and agreed before the child’s first Review. Savings are undertaken by GLF finance and taken out of the FC payments.

Categories of Accountable

Expenditure – per week

 

Under 11s

Suggested amounts

Under 11s agreed

expenditure  

Over 11s

Suggested amounts

Over 11s agreed expenditure
Savings £5 (If an alternative amount is agreed please inform GLF finance)   £10 (If an alternative amount is agreed please inform GLF finance).  
Pocket money £0- £5   £5 – £25  
Child’s mobile phone £0   £5  
Clothing and Footwear £15   £15-£25  
Personal Care £0 –   £15   £5  
Christmas/Other Festivals and Birthdays £5   £5  
Child’s share of family events and activities £15   £0 – £15  
Toys, books, educational and leisure equipment £10   £10  
Child’s educational and leisure activities £20   £5-£20  
Other expenditure e.g. fares, school meals etc as agreed at placement planning meeting        
Routinely accountable expenditure £75 £75 £90 £90
MAKING FURTHER PLACEMENTS WITH THIS CARER
How many children is this carer approved to take?   Does this carer have a current vacancy? YES/NO
Does the L.A. agree in principal to a suitably matched child/YP being placed whilst <name> is in the placement? YES/NO
SIGNATURES
Name   Role  
Signature  

 

Date  
Name   Role  
Signature  

 

Date  
Name   Role  
Signature  

 

Date  
Name   Role  
Signature  

 

Date