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 primary role of caring for a looked after child or young person for Brighton & Hove City Council. A conflict of interest may affect the way you view a child placed with you, their parents and family, or the professionals involved. It is however also recognised that you may not experience such conflicts of interest whilst caring for other people’s children.

Examples of a conflict of interest could be as follows:

  • Social workers unknowingly proposing to place a child related or well known to you through family, neighbourhood or work connections
  • A child placed with you is registered with a GPs’ practice or attends a school with whom you had a disagreement which led to a change of doctor or school
  • After a child is placed you come to know members of the child’s family through other employment, a family member moving into your locality or through marriage or relationship with other members of their family. When placements last longer than originally envisaged this may occur on occasions.

If you consider a possible conflict of interest may arise from caring for a certain child/ren, you should feel free to raise it with your supervising social worker. If you are not sure whether you should declare an interest and wish to discuss the matter in confidence, the Fostering Network can offer advice. Fostering Network can be contacted at:

87 Blackfriars Road,
SE1 8HA.

Tel: 020 7620 6400

Although you can be offered advice about declaring an interest, it is ultimately your responsibility: if you are not sure, then it is always best to declare an interest. It is important to remember that declaring an interest does not imply that you may act improperly, but that it could protect you from claims or the potential appearance of impropriety.

The supervising social worker, in consultation with their manager, will agree an appropriate course of action with you to ensure the care of a child to be placed or placed is not jeopardised. A declaration of a possible conflict of interest to your supervising social worker should help to prevent inappropriate placements occurring. A declaration of a possible conflict of interest once a placement has started does not necessarily mean a placement should be terminated, though depending on the circumstances it could do. Once a potential conflict of interest has been identified, all involved need to be aware of potential difficulties and jointly plan how matters should be handled and/or resolved.





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