Respite provision

Practice Guidance for Respite Provision by Foster Carers’ Family and Friends

 Foster carers often have a support network made up of friends and family that they use to help them foster such as provide babysitting, occasional childminding and emergency assistance. On some occasions it maybe that foster carers require a longer period of respite, such as a holiday, than is covered by the Overnight Stays Guidance (maximum 2 nights). There could be an advantage of using the foster carer’s own family and friends to provide this respite 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. There maybe other occasions when the needs of the child are more complex and it maybe best to place the child/ren with an experienced foster carer.

There needs to be due scrutiny of these placements with family and friends to ensure safeguarding for the child and for the carers. It would make most sense for the information gathered to be similar to information required to make an urgent Regulation 24 placement as under the Care Planning, Placement and Case Review (England) Regulations 2010.

This respite provision needs to be agreed by the Head of Service, Fostering and Adoption and in consultation with the social worker and practice manager for the child/ren in the area teams. It is the responsibility of the supervising social worker to complete the documentation and checks.

This guidance is designed to cover respite provision for up to 15 nights maximum.

If you wish to arrange a respite foster placement with friends or family of foster carers you must do the following;

  • Undertake a home visit. If the children will be staying in the home of the family or friends, check the suitability of the accommodation. A health and safety check to be completed.
  • If the prospective carers are moving into the foster carers’ home the supervising social worker should meet with these carers in good time prior to the proposed respite period.
  • A brief viability assessment should be completed of the prospective carers, for which a pro forma document is attached. This needs to be completed and signed off by the Team Manager, Fostering.
  • A variety of checks on the prospective respite carers need to be undertaken:

(i) Enhanced DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check on all members of the household over 16, and a PNC check while you are waiting for the Enhanced DBS check to be completed.

(ii) A Carefirst/Children and Families records check

(iii) Medical check (call to GP) to ascertain there are no contraindications to fostering

(iv) One telephone reference to be taken up

These checks can be recorded on the attached proforma

  • Carers to sign a written agreement. (See attachment)
  • Notification given to child/ren’s social worker and practice manager and views sought.
  • Plans made to support and monitor the respite arrangements. These should be made along with the chid/ren’s social worker. These should include a higher visiting schedule than would normally be expected. At least weekly visits to see the carers and the child/ren. Ensure the proposed carers receive emergency contact details.
  • Ensure that the proposed carers receive sufficient information about the children they will be looking after.
  • Discuss the financial arrangements for paying the prospective carers, either for them to be paid directly by the Fostering Service (this would not include the fee element of the foster carer payment) or for the foster carers to pay them from their fostering allowance.

Once these tasks have been completed and the attached form it needs to be passed to the Service Manager Fostering for consideration. The agreement for the respite provision will be given by the Head of Service, Fostering and Adoption.

Each respite arrangement will need to be agreed, however if it is a regular respite arrangement then it will be sufficient to update this form with the proposed current arrangements once the assessment and checks have been completed.



Like this site?

Like us on Facebook!



Text Size