Foster Cares Charter

Foster Cares Ltd

Foster Carers’ Charter

Foster Cares Ltd staff and Foster Carers are committed to ensuring that our children and young people achieve the best possible outcomes. In partnership with the child’s responsible local authority we will aim to provide every child with a foster family where they are valued, supported and are able to achieve and succeed.

Foster Cares Ltd understand that Foster Carers are at the heart of the service and recognise that a foster family can make the biggest difference in a child’s life.

This charter has been produced following consultation with all staff and Foster Carers at Foster Cares Ltd and sets out our joint commitment to each other and the children/young people in our care and confirms and extends our commitment to the Department for Education Foster Carers’ Charter 2011.

What Foster Carers Can Expect From Foster Cares Ltd

  1. Working In Partnership

Foster Cares Ltd recognise that Foster Carers have the skills and expertise which enable them to make the biggest difference to the everyday lives of children.

We will:

  • value your skills and expertise equally to those of other professionals
  • recognise that you are the people who live with the children every day and know them best
  • include you in all meetings that affect you and the children you look after
  • treat you with respect, dignity and fairness ensuring that you are not discriminated against because of who you are or your role
  • respect confidentiality
  • support you in your work with other professionals
  • work together in a positive and professional way with you, the responsible authority, and others to promote the well-being and safety of all children/young people
  • work together as a team – Together Everyone Achieves More

 

  1. Provide Information

As an agency we know that information provided is vital in order that Foster Carers are able to provide the care that meets the needs of the child.

We will:

  • give you all the information available to us to enable you to care for children safely
  • provide you with full details of all relevant policies and procedures
  • ensure that a placement plan is completed, in discussion with you, in advance of placements where possible (except in emergencies where this will be done as soon as possible)
  • provide you with access to information on financial matters including tax, allowances, and additional benefits by funding your membership of Foster Talk
  • we will ensure every Foster Carer has a Foster Carer Handbook and all relevant policies and procedures and ensure Foster Carers are kept up to date with changes and developments
  1. Provide Clarity About Decisions

We recognise that in order for children to live a full family life, Foster Carers must be able to make decisions regarding the children they foster.

We will:

  • actively promote and encourage the responsible Local Authority to engage and agree areas to be covered in “delegated authority” for individual children
  • ensure that, where possible, you are able to make everyday decisions that mean that your fostered child is not treated differently to their peers and can feel part of your family
  • provide clarity about any decisions you cannot take at the outset so that everyone understands who is responsible for what
  1. Provide Support

We recognise that fostering can feel like an isolating and challenging task, therefore appropriate and timely support is essential for the foster family and the children in your care.

We will:

  • provide you with monthly supervision as a minimum
  • provide 24-hour telephone support from people with fostering expertise
  • pay your allowance, expenses, and fees in a timely manner
  • include a payment in your weekly allowance to allow you to take holidays of up to 2 weeks
  • where possible and appropriate, respond positively to requests for additional support
  • give you honest and open feedback
  • offer access to support groups where you can find support and share experiences with other foster families
  • enrol all Foster Carers as a member of Foster Talk who offer a wide range of independent support services, advice, and a Foster Carer forum
  • provide you with access to independent advice, support and guidance should you face an allegation
  1. Learning And Development

We acknowledge the importance and the requirement of Foster Carers to have access to learning and development opportunities throughout their fostering career.

Foster Cares Ltd will:

  • provide you with appropriate and relevant training opportunities facilitated by  trainers who understand the fostering tasks
  • where appropriate/viable, provide encouragement and support for Foster Carers wishing to access/undertake appropriate training opportunities in their local community educational establishments and colleges
  • aim to provide a training program which reflects individual needs
  • aim to provide you with other appropriate developmental opportunities which make the best use of your skills and expertise, such as mentoring or providing training or support
  • facilitate training/development opportunities during school hours where possible to maximize opportunities to attend
  1. Fair Treatment

We recognise that Foster Carers have a right to be treated fairly, no matter what their circumstances.

Foster Cares Ltd will aim to:

  • consult with you before changing your terms and conditions
  • ensure that you are not discriminated against or treated unfairly on the grounds of who you are
  • recognise and promote the diverse nature of individuals and families who can offer foster families
  • seek to recruit Foster Carers from a diverse range of backgrounds, which reflects society, to meet the needs of children
  • provide a framework for dealing with allegations and ensure agreed timescales are met
  • practice and develop in a way that puts children and their foster families first, and foremost
  1. Communication And Consultation

We believe open and honest dialogue is the key to a good relationship and to promote the best outcomes for children.

Foster Cares Ltd will aim to:

  • facilitate regular opportunities for communication, consultation, and feedback
  • ensure that we consult with you in a meaningful way on matters that affect you
  • provide feedback from consultations
  • promote opportunities to celebrate and recognize achievement
  • practice in a way which encourages feedback and dialogue and does not penalize those who raise concerns or issues

 

 

What Foster Cares Ltd Expects From Foster Carers

  1. Children Come First

Every child should be respected as an individual and should be supported in achieving their aspirations and fulfilling their potential

Foster Carers will:

  • act in a manner that promotes positive adult role models and inspires children to find their strengths and skills
  • use skills and approaches that make a positive impact and enable the child to reach their potential
  • treat children as if they were their own and afford the same level of protection and care to a child as we would our own child in accordance with the national minimum standards
  • be a ‘pushy parent’ in advocating for all aspects of the child’s development including educational attainment and physical and emotional health and well being
  • support their foster child(ren) and do all they can to make the placement work
  • respect and promote a child’s religious, linguistic, and cultural heritage
  • support their foster child to help them to counter possible bullying and discrimination as a result of their care status, culture, religion, ethnicity, disability, or sexuality
  • listen to children and young people
  • ensure the child has the right to make decisions regarding their own lives, as appropriate to their age and understanding
  • play an active role in promoting contact for children with their birth families and significant others
  1. Working In Partnership

Working together and within the legal framework is essential

Foster Carers will:

  • cooperate fully as part of a team with other key professionals in the child’s life
  • attend all meetings about the children we care for
  • work positively with birth parents, wider family, and people significant in a child’s life
  • respect confidentiality at all times
  • ensure they fully understand their role and make use of their skills to the best of their ability ensuring their practice meets the standards set out in fostering regulations and agency guidance, policies, and procedures
  • be open and honest and share any concerns
  • be prepared to accept help, guidance, and support
  1. Sharing Information

Open and honest dialogue is required for working together.

Foster Carers will:

  • inform their supervising social worker about any changes in the household (composition, employment, health etc)
  • inform their supervising social worker about any difficulties that arise
  • maintain clear, concise, and factual records with regards to children they care for in line with regulation, policies, and procedures
  • pass on any concerns as a matter of urgency
  • ensure they fully understand issues of confidentiality and data protection in relation to the fostering role

 

  1. Learning And Development

A commitment to ongoing development is essential if we are to transform the lives of children and practice in line with all regulation, policies, and procedures.

Foster Carers will:

  • be prepared to develop their skills throughout their fostering career to ensure good practice and the best possible outcomes for children
  • attend relevant training at the earliest opportunity
  • take up training /development opportunities offered on a regular basis
  • contribute to their personal development plan
  • inform the Agency should they be unable to attend with as much notice as possible
  • attend and contribute to support groups
  • be prepared to reflect and change
  1. Communication And Consultation

Open and honest dialogue is the key to a good relationship and to providing the best possible service and care to you and the children you care for.

Foster Carers will:

  • respond and partake in consultation opportunities
  • provide feedback with regard to the service to help develop and improve the service we offer to you and the children you care for