Foster care: questions and answers

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Foster care: questions and answers

This is an occasional piece where we provide answers to some of the more frequently asked questions (FAQs) that we receive. It is unfortunate, but allegations are made from time to time and recurring questions then are “I have received an allegation and have been informed that I will be going to panel”. And then “What does this  mean for me?” It is viewed as being an example of good professional practice for any foster care agency to immediately inform their panel when any allegation is made. When, as a foster carer, you are asked to attend panel, you should be informed of the outcome of the inquiry that investigates the allegation. You should then be informed what your fostering service provider will be recommending – as far as ongoing suitability is concerned.

Attendance is not made compulsory by most foster agencies – but it is a good idea to attend, as this will, in most cases, provide the panel with a more balanced view concerning the allegation. If, however, you decide not to attend panel, your fostering agency will invite you to provide a written response to the allegation: most panels will welcome your submission. Each fostering agency/service provider will have a policy which outlines the time frame in which a written submission is required to be made. This allows for the necessary checks to be made, as well as the opportunity to discuss matters with you before the panel sits.

Foster care and allegations: the support you can expect to receive

Foster care agencies will differ, but all will have a policy outlining the ‘face to face’ support that a carer can expect as an allegation is investigated. This can mean providing support at the actual panel meetings: often this is not necessary however as every case is different. Where there is a positive outcome for the foster carer(s), the recommendation from the fostering agency will simply be that the foster carer(s) suitability to foster will continue.

Following an allegation, there may well be some concerns that have been raised. Every case is different, but if concerns have arisen, then the fostering agency/service provider will put these in writing to you. This communication should also record the outcome of the allegation- including actions to be taken and the decisions reached.  A foster carer(s) should always request that they be sent in writing, the details of the outcome of the investigation into the allegation.

The panel recommendations and how these can affect your situation as a foster carer

Following an allegation, the panel can make recommendations in one of the three areas:

  1. That you are re-approved as a foster carer, either with the current terms of approval being allowed to remain the same; or where terms of approval are changing; for example the age range, or number of children you are allowed to foster
  2. If any decision is deferred for a set period of time – and usually this happens when more information may be needed for reassessment. 
  3. That you are not to be re-approved as a foster carer.

Finally, following the recommendation the panel has made as a result of its investigations, the final decision will then be made by the Agency Decision maker (ADM). This decision should then be communicated to you in writing. This should be done within a maximum of 7 days following the final minutes from the panel.

Please remember our  generous ‘Rainbow Rewards’ for foster carers

A bonus of £500 is available when you can refer someone to be a carer with Rainbow. Our bonus will be paid once your referral has been approved, and the first placement made. Existing carers who transfer to Rainbow, can also qualify for our special bonus and please note – payment will be made for carers who are already caring for young people on a long-term basis.

Should you currently be considering being a carer for the first time – how to foster a child? What are carer requirements? How long does it take to become a carer? And carer pay? These are just some of the different inquiries we get from people thinking about a career in foster care. We have a dedicated recruitment team who are always happy to answer these, or perhaps any other concerns you might have. We are now looking for people who want to make a difference by providing stable homes for vulnerable children and youngsters. So, if you are interested in fostering babies, fostering children or teenagers, please call us on 020 8427 3355.

And the good news at the end our rainbow…we are now working on the planning and preparation of our Foster Carer Awards later this year. We have some very imaginative themes to consider…

and our suggestion for a great day out

Rainbow News – the chance to keep up to date

Foster care ruling over ‘Muslim case’

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Foster care and allegations

October 5th, 2017

In a recent controversial case where a Christian girl was placed with a Muslim family, a judge has now ruled the child should live with a family member. The London Borough of Tower Hamlets was the local authority that got caught up in the controversy (more)

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