Stay Safe

Stay safeIt is vital that as foster carers you provide safe care for the children placed with you and are that you are aware of all the policies and procedures in place to safeguard you and the children you care for.

Allegations against Foster Carers

This chapter deals with Child Protection procedures when allegations of significant harm are made against foster carers resident in Brighton and Hove, including temporary and approved kinship carers.

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Allegations procedures

Extract from Sussex Child Protection & Safeguarding Procedures (Volume 2)

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Assessment of Dogs

This guidance provides advice about the assessment of prospective foster Carers who are dog owners and of approved Carers who become dog owners. Specific guidance is given on prohibited dangerous dogs and other potentially dangerous dogs. The key risks and benefits are outlined with signposts for more detailed information if required.

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Behaviour Management Guidance

Behaviour Management Guidance in Foster Homes - May 2012

This Guidance is applicable to the management of foster children in foster homes approved by Brighton and Hove City Council, including connected persons.

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Conflicts of interest

Foster carers need to be aware that from time to time a conflict of interest or potential conflict of interest may arise which could interfere with their caring role. You must declare to your supervising social worker any financial or non-financial interests that you consider may bring you into conflict with your prime role of caring for a looked after child/ren or young person for Brighton & Hove City Council.

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Facebook use

You are all aware of the rapid development and use of Facebook and other social networking media. It can be difficult to keep abreast of all the changes, development and implications of this ever changing technology. For foster carers and looked after children, Facebook and social networking presents specific challenges in terms of sharing of information and safeguarding.

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Missing Children

Each year in Sussex 62% of the 4,820 people reported missing to the Police are children who go missing. The peak age for children to go missing is between the ages of 13-16 with girls approximately twice as likely as boys to go missing. Being a regular missing person increases the likelihood of being a victim of crime, sexual offences, minor assault and theft and also increases the likelihood of the missing child committing offences.

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Missing Children Policy

Children who are missing invariably place themselves at risk. The reasons for their absence are varied and complex and cannot be viewed in isolation from their home circumstances. Every 'missing' episode should attract proper attention from the professionals involved with the child and those professionals must collaborate to ensure a consistent and coherent response is given to the child on their return and that parents and carers are supported appropriately.

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Pond safety

Water holds a particular fascination for young children especially under the age of five. Whether the water is held in a garden pond, water feature, a rainwater butt, a paddling pool or a bucket, a young child will invariable investigate. It is essential that steps are taken to remove the hazard where children can be found.

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Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect

Information provided by Children and Families on child protection for the public

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Respite provision

There could be an advantage of using the foster carer’s own family and friends to provide respite such as provide babysitting, occasional childminding and emergency assistance, rather than move the child to a new foster home. The network is likely to be already known to the child and more represents what a family would do for support.

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Standards of care procedures

Standards of care are achieved through high standards of practice in recruitment, preparation, training, support, supervision and review. Any perceived fall in standards of care should be identified quickly by supervising social workers and addressed in supervision.

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The internet and foster care

By taking responsibility for looked after children's online computer use, you can greatly minimise any potential risks of being online.

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Use of photography or videos with looked after children

It is important for you to be aware of the protocol on the use of photography or videos with looked after children that social workers are expected to follow. The next section provides you with this guidance then is followed by guidance to foster carers on the use of photos or videos with children in placement.

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Whistleblowing and foster carers

The Council is committed to the highest possible standards of openness, honesty and accountability. In line with that commitment, foster carers are encouraged to voice any serious concerns they may have about any aspect of the Council’s work. This Whistleblowing Policy is intended to encourage and enable foster carers to raise such concerns within the Council confidentially or openly, without fear of reprisals.

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