The needs and circumstances of family and friends foster carers are taken into account when determining the fostering service’s policies and practices.
STANDARD 30 - Family and friends as foster carers
Care Planning, Placement and Case Review (England) Regulations (2010):
- Family and friends foster carers receive the support they require to meet the needs of children placed with them.
The fostering service’s Statement of Purpose includes the services and facilities that they provide to family and friends foster carers.
In deciding whether a relative, friend or other connected person should be approved as a foster carer, the decision maker takes into account the needs, wishes and feelings of the child and the capacity of the carer to meet these.
In seeking to support family and friends foster carers, the local authority fostering service works closely with the wider local authority children’s services department, other departments, and agencies such as housing, to mitigate any limitations to the carer’s capacity to care for a foster child.
When assessing an individual’s suitability to be a family and friends foster carer, the likely length of the placement, the age of the child, the wishes and feelings and any concerns of the child and, if appropriate, the capacity of the wider family to contribute to the child’s long term care, are taken into account.
Potential family and friends foster carers should be provided with information about the assessment process, so they know what is expected of them, how they will be assessed, including the criteria that will be used and how particular issues for family and friends foster carers will be addressed, and any support offered during the assessment process.
Family and friends foster carers are asked about their existing knowledge of the foster child’s behaviour and background and any concerns they have about the child, as well as being provided with information about the child that is held by the fostering service.
The child’s introduction to the new fostering arrangement takes account of the fact that, whilst the child may know the carer well, the carer’s role in the child’s life is now changing. This is explained to the child and the carer is provided with the support they need to manage this transition
The fostering service takes into account the carer’s, parents’ and child’s views about contact before the start of the placement, or as soon as possible afterwards, and puts in place appropriate supports to help manage contact.
Financial and other support is provided to all foster carers according to objective criteria that do not discriminate against foster carers that have a pre-existing relationship with the child. Family and friends foster carers may require some services to be delivered in a different way, but there should be equity of provision and entitlement.
Family and friends foster carers have access to training available to other foster carers, but the fostering service provider also offers training that addresses the particular needs and circumstances of family and friends foster carers.
Family and friends foster carers have access to support groups that meet their particular needs.
Supervising social workers who are supporting family and friends foster carers have training in the particular needs and circumstances of this group.
Where a family and friends foster carer is temporarily approved as a foster carer under regulation 24 of the Care Planning, Placement and Case Review (England) Regulations 2010, a full assessment is competed as soon as practicable, where the intention is for the child to stay with the carer, and always within the statutory timeframe set out in the Regulations.
This standard only applies to local authority fostering services and those independent fostering services which approve family and friends foster carers. However, where family and friends are approved as foster carers the other standards apply as they do for other foster carers.