Foster Care notebook: the Annual Review 1

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Foster Care notebook: the Annual Review 1

Foster care and the Annual Review

Foster carers Annual Reviews

Foster carers will be aware that there are many different and important aspects to their experience of uk fostering. One of these is the Annual Review: fostering children brings many responsibilities and the Annual Review ensures a standardised approach. All fostering service providers have to review a carer in accordance with the fostering regulations and guidance – as well as the appropriate legislation. Reviews are conducted on a yearly basis to check on whether a carer’s approval can continue. Consideration will also be given as to whether any changes are necessary to the carers terms of approval.

A regular milestone for carers

The Annual Review is a key opportunity to both consider and consult around progress over the previous year. Where there have been problems, these will be discussed, as will the need for additional support a carer may need. The situation in England and Wales is that a review of a carers approval should be conducted a year after their initial approval. It is up to the fostering service provider as to the necessity of future reviews but these should take place at intervals not exceeding one year. In Scotland, annual reviews must take place within twelve months of the original day of approval, within three years of the previous review and, importantly, if the service provider judges a review is necessary in order to safeguard the welfare of a child or young person.

Current fostering regulations are clear that the first annual review report must be referred back to Panel. There is no requirement for future reviews to be referred back to Panel but the fostering service provider can choose to take this option. 

Annual Review: principles

It is useful for foster carers to know that there are broad principles that should be applied when conducting annual reviews. These are: 

  • a written report will be produced following the review. This must be shared with the carer(s) who also have the opportunity to add any comments they might have;
  • the terms of a carers approval can be kept under review so that any changes in their circumstances can be accounted for. Examples can be household members, a new relationship or the age and range of children cared for;
  • concerns – such as an allegation being made can result in the need for an immediate review, And again a change in the overall circumstances of the household i.e. serious illness, separation or divorce can also trigger a review;
  • the fostering service provider is obliged to write a written report establishing the suitability of the carer to continue fostering. This will also take in the general suitability of the household and that the terms of approval remain appropriate. Written notification will be provided for the carer;
  • a review must take into account the views of the carer – as well as those of children placed with that carer over the course of a year. The opinions of the children’s social workers will also be included;
  • if it is decided by the fostering service provider that the approval is no longer suitable for a carer they must inform the carer along with details of their rights and relevant timescales should the carer wish to make written representations to the service provider.

More information is available at

In 2020 Rainbow is offering fostering career opportunities in London, Birmingham, Manchester and Hampshire. 

Our foster carers know that they are doing an incredible job by fostering children. A loving foster home might represent the first chance a child has had in their lives feel safe and wanted. If you feel you can provide such a home along with the time and commitment that will be required to support a child or young person, then call us on 020 8427 3355 or make use of our National Line 0330 311.

We offer a wide range of professional fostering career choices. You can consider training to look after siblings, or to care for teenagers – perhaps specialising in parent and child placements. Our trained and knowledgeable professionals will discuss your motivations to foster and give you as much information as you want. Find out about the six easy steps to becoming ‘Approved’. With us, it takes on average only 16 to 18 weeks from an initial enquiry to becoming ‘Approved’.

Rainbow Fostering has now been established for over twenty years and been rated ‘Outstanding’ in all areas by Ofsted. This means we are a leading uk fostering agency. One you can depend on for all the support and training you will need as a skilled carer. We also offer people the chance to train in the area of therapeutic fostering which entitles carers to enhanced rates of pay.

Many people ask us simply what is fostering? We can explain the differences between fostering and adoption. We will also provide information on fostering pay as well as how much you get for fostering. Fostering allowances can differ according to individual circumstances. Call for more information – we’ll be happy to provide it.

Rainbow continually strive to ensure that our website is a dynamic and informative resource. Please make use of it and remember it has news – as well as general information about fostering which is regularly updated. Visit: 

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