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4.19 Private Foster Carers

SCOPE OF THIS CHAPTER

This procedure applies to all children who are Privately Fostered and should be read in conjunction with Private Fostering Procedure.


Assessment of Private Foster Carers

The assessment of the foster carer should consider the foster carer’s ability to meet the child’s physical, emotional, educational, intellectual, social and behavioural needs through appropriate diet, play, exercise, stimulation, encouraging of relationships and social skills, understanding the importance of the child’s self-esteem and ability to work in partnership with the child’s parents. In particular the following should be considered

  1. The foster carer’s parenting capacity including their attitude to behaviour management and in particular corporal punishment
  2. The relationships between members of the household
  3. The foster carer’s understanding of the need for the child to maintain close links with his or her cultural heritage and religion
  4. The foster carer’s attitude towards the child having contact with the parents and other significant people in his or her life
  5. The extent of the parents’ involvement and monitoring of the child’s welfare
  6. The clarity of the purpose and length of the arrangement
  7. The quality of the relationship between the child and the foster carer
  8. The willingness of the foster carer to facilitate the child’s contact with the parent and/or siblings
  9. The foster carer’s understanding of the child’s separation and loss
  10. The financial arrangements and whether these are appropriate to ensure the child’s continued well-being

During the assessment, the social worker should advise the foster carer of the desirability of taking out public liability insurance cover or, if this is already included in the household insurance cover, to notify the insurers of the child’s placement.

Advice may also be required in relation to the foster carer’s entitlement to benefits. 

The assessment of the suitability of the accommodation should include the following checks:

  1. The sleeping arrangements - generally a foster child over 2 should not share a bedroom with a teenager, the foster carers or any other adult member of the household; unrelated children of the opposite sex should not share a bedroom; and brothers and sisters should only share a bedroom under the age of 9.
  2. The safety of fires, electrical sockets, windows, floor coverings and glass doors
  3. Cooking facilities and safety in the kitchen or cooking areas
  4. Equipment such as cots
  5. Use of stair gates
  6. The safety of storage of medicines and dangerous household substances
  7. The presence of pets and arrangements for their control
  8. The quality of transport - car seats, safety belts etc.
  9. Washing and toilet facilities
  10. Outside play space
  11. Fire safety, smoke detectors and the safe storage of matches
  12. Access to the garden, safety within it and access to the road

End