Can you deal with all the problems that come with fostering children?
Fostering children is not just about having good parenting skills or being able to provided good enough care for vulnerable children, it is also about understanding enough about the rights and responsibilities of foster children and foster carers. Foster care is therefore ‘Parenting Plus’.
As a new foster carer you will be very well prepared to foster having been through a comprehensive assessment and training course. The children best suited to place with you and your family will have been ‘matched’ during the assessment process and the training will have covered the most significant areas such as meeting the basic needs of a foster child, the legislation, a foster child’s and your rights, recognising risk, and what is expected of you by social services or the independent fostering agency who you foster for.
Being a foster carer is not about being perfect at looking after children, this is neither expected nor possible. Fostering, like parenting is a daily learning experience, often full of surprises and the occasional challenge!
It is a myth that social workers ‘take children away’, children are either looked after by social services with the agreement of a parent or guardian or the police or a court make the decision to make an order that the child is at risk and ‘in need’ therefore to remove a child from their home. A social worker usually requests this order, although a police officer may also request it. Once the removal has been approved, the child can be placed in a ‘place of safety’ such as in temporary foster care or children’s home.
After a child has been placed ’in care’ a meeting has to be made within seventy two hours when the child’s situation is reviewed and more decisions are made about their safety and wellbeing. The meeting is managed by social services and usually held in the foster carer’s home. Various professionals, the foster carer, and if appropriate the birth parent will attend.
‘Children in need’ is a term used in children’s law and in the day to day work by social services therefore an explanation follows;
Fostering Care News : ‘Children in need’
All local authorities in the UK have a duty to provide services that look after the welfare of children. This duty is underpinned by the Children Act 1989 (England and Wales), the Children (Scotland) Act 1995 and the Children (Northern Ireland) Order 1995. The term ‘children in need’ derives from such legislation.
‘Children in need’ are defined similarly in legislation for each nation of the UK. The Children Act 1989 (England and Wales) section 17(10), for example, defines children in need as those who are unlikely to reach or maintain, or have the opportunity of achieving or maintaining, a reasonable standard of health or development without help or whose health or development is likely to be significantly impaired or further impaired without the provision of services, or who are disabled.
Local authorities have a general duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of children who are in need within their area. So far as is consistent with that duty, they should promote the upbringing of such children by their families, by providing a range and a level of services appropriate to those children’s needs.
Not all children living away from their parents will be defined as in need for example those living in fee-paying boarding schools. All children who are ‘looked after’ however, are by definition in need.
Contact Foster Care News to apply to foster children.
Fostering Care News – UK
We are looking for committed adults who are willing to find the room in their hearts and in their homes for very special children.
Here at Fostering Care News, foster families can share the belief that every child deserves a secure family, and a lot of love. They share the knowledge that Fostering Care News will provide them with very useful information about fostering children, fostering allowances, quality and long term fostering and will support them every step of the way.
Use our free Foster Care News UK : Carer Enquiry – Fostering Agency Matching Service to find the best Fostering Agencies with vacancies where you live.
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