Key Documents

Key documentsA useful reference area for all foster carers containing a range of key policy and practice guidance documents.

Behaviour Management

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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Being a foster carer

Foster care means looking after someone else’s child in your home and working closely with their family. This is a difficult and demanding job which requires an ever increasing level of skill and responsibility. The following sections outline our various services.

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Care and Control in foster care

The Children Act 1989 (CA89) and the Care Standards Act 2000 (CSA 2000) provide the statutory framework for the care and protection of children.

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Children and Families

The Government’s Department for Education has ensured that every local authority develops a framework for assessing, planning and reviewing its services to individual children. The elements, which are most likely to involve foster carers are assessing, planning, accommodating the child and reviewing the child’s Care Plan.

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Compliments, comments or complaints

Are you happy with the services provided by Brighton & Hove City Council?

If you are, please let us know about it,we like to hear from you so that we can understand what is working well. We also want to hear from you when you have comments or suggestions where things are not going as well as you think they might,so that we can help put things right as soon as possible.

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Contact and how to do it

The Children Act 1989 and Adoption and Children Act 2002 impose a duty on local authorities to promote contact between a child who is being looked after.

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Equalities & Inclusion Policy

Brighton & Hove City Council’s Equalities & Inclusion Policy 2012-2015

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Equalities & Inclusion Policy and foster carers

Every possible step will be taken to ensure that carers and potential carers are all treated equally and fairly and that all decisions including those on recruitment, approval, training and development, are based solely on related standards, policies and regulations. Through this the Trust ensures the most effective use of what carers have to offer looked after children.

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File Access

Requests for access to personal files can be made for many reasons, including a wish to see all the personal information that has been gathered on oneself, a need to ensure that specific facts or views have been correctly recorded.

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Foster Carers' Agreement

Formal agreement between the carer and Brighton & Hove City Council. Includes downloadable copy.

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Foster Carers’ Charter

The Government launched the Foster Carers’ Charter in March 2011. The Charter was jointly produced by Government, fostering organisations, charities and children.

It is part of the move to improve improve outcomes for children and young people by working with foster carers who are the main providers of care for them. The Foster Carers' Charter is a way for Brighton and Hove City Council to work together and build professional and respectful relationships with foster carers.

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Looked After Child Reviews

Your contributions to Looked After Child Reviews are a vital part of the process in sharing views and information, identifying new goals and promoting the child’s development.

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Meeting a BME child’s identity needs

Identity is important for all children but is particularly crucial for Black and minority ethnic children from the day they are born. Foster carers need to be aware of this and think about what can be put in place to help the child with their identity as soon as possible.

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National Minimum Standards

National Minimum Standards are issued for use by Ofsted, who take them into account in the inspection of fostering services. They are also important in other ways.

The Department for Education has published a booklet on Fostering Services: National Minimum Standards.

Read on for the introduction and table of contents.

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Overnight stays for looked after children

Overnight stays can promote friendships and links in the local community and help to normalise the experience of being in care. The aim of this guidance is to provide detailed advice to social workers and carers about the law and good practice in relation to looked after children staying away from their placements overnight. Definitions of different overnight stays will be provided.

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Placement Stability Meetings

Placement Stability Meetings (PSMs) should be convened where foster placements, and residential placements in the independent sector, which are otherwise considered to be suitable for a child are at risk of breaking down. They should be called only after other options such as informal meetings between workers and carers have been exhausted or produced no noticeable improvement in the quality of the child's placement.

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Record keeping and foster care

Everyone working with looked after children and their families are involved in recording in different ways. Recording is an essential part of the service provided to children and families.

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Recruitment Strategy

The Brighton and Hove Fostering Service is drafting a new recruitment strategy for 2015-16, and this will be made available here as soon as possible.

Renewing Foster Carer Checks

Following foster carer approval, there are a number of checks for each foster carer are required to be updated every three years. The checks in question are:

DBS (formerly known as CRB), Medical, Child Protection Register (CPR)

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Safe caring

Each child or young person in foster care must be protected from all forms of abuse, neglect, exploitation and deprivation. To achieve safe caring, we have put in place arrangements to protect children and young people in foster care and you as carer.

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Services for disabled children and young people

The Integrated Child Development and Disability Service is a multidisciplinary service working with any child who has developmental delay. Within the service are a range of Health, Children and Families and pre school educational services who work together to assess and provide a range of support and interventions to meet children’s needs. We work closely with staff and services across Children and Families, linking in with Area based mainstream services.

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Statement of Purpose

The Statement of Purpose describes how the fostering service ensures best outcomes for children in foster care and their families. It includes details of the staffing and organisational structure of the service, management arrangements, monitoring and evaluation of services and complaints procedures and the details of the Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills (Ofsted).

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Support chart

Chart showing support options for fosster careres in Brighton & Hove.

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The 16+ and Leaving Care Pledge

This is the Pledge for children and young people 16-25 years.

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The Brighton & Hove Pledge

This is the Brighton & Hove Pledge to children and young people in care and to care leavers.

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The under-16 Pledge

This is the Pledge for children and young people up to 16 years.

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When Foster Carers Separate

When couples separate and one partner moves out of the home, the supervising social worker needs to complete a brief interim report on the carers’ circumstances. This should be sent to the Fostering Panel Adviser who will notify the next Fostering Panel under AOB. This should be at approximately 3 months after the couple separate.

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Download documents on parent and baby foster placements.

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Policy and Practice

Parent and baby carers offer a very specialised form of fostering. They have a role as a teacher of parenting skills whilst also contributing to the assessment process which will determine the care plan for the baby in placement. There is an expectation that carers will endeavour to educate, advise and support parents in placement and also model appropriate parenting behaviour.

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Roles and Responsibilities

It is good practice for the foster carer to meet and introduce herself, and outline her family circumstances to the parent before a placement commences. Ideally if a placement has been able to be identified at an early stage and the parent is accepting of the care plan a visit for the parent to the carers should be organised prior to placement.

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