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3.8.15 Whistleblowing - Foster Carers

SCOPE OF THIS CHAPTER

This policy applies to Foster Carers. For all other queries relating to Whistleblowing, please refer to Lincolnshire County Council’s Corporate Whistleblowing Policy which can be located on the LCC Intranet under Confidential Reporting.

This is a new chapter for September 2011.


Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Principles
  3. Whistleblower
  4. Raising a Concern


1. Introduction

The Whistle blowing law is part of the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 and it is a requirement that public bodies have a policy in place. In addition Standard 19.6 of the 2011 National Minimum Standards requires fostering services to have a Whistleblowing policy that is made known to all staff and foster carers.


2. Principles

At Lincolnshire County Council we want to make sure that we are providing excellent services to the residents of Lincolnshire. Our staff, Councillors, partners and contractors have an important role to play in achieving this goal and we expect everyone to be committed to our high level of service, which are based on principles of honesty, openness and accountability. Experience shows that the staff or others who work on behalf of an organisation often have worries or suspicions and could, by reporting their concerns at an early stage, help put things right and prevent a potential wrong doing.


3. Whistleblower

A Whistleblower is a general term for a person who works in or for an organisation and raises an honest and reasonable concern about a possible crime, fraud, danger or other serious risk that could threaten colleagues, service users, members of the public and the reputation of the organisation.

Individual foster carers have a right and a duty to raise with the Council any apparent instance and we want you to feel that it is safe and acceptable to tell us about any concerns you may have.

We welcome all genuine concerns and will treat the issues you raise seriously. The policy outlines how to raise a concern, the protection we can provide, confidentiality and our response to you.

We will not tolerate any harassment or victimisation and we will take action to support and protect you when you raise a matter of concern in good faith. We will respect your confidentiality as far as we possibly can but there will be times when we are unable to guarantee this for example if there are child protection issues and if the matter proceeds to a formal investigation. It is important to note that any malicious recording by foster carers may result in a review of their suitability to foster.


4. Raising a Concern

All staff have a duty to ensure that foster carers are easily able to express their concerns through all levels of management. Managers must ensure that any foster carer’s concerns are dealt with promptly, thoroughly and fairly. In the first instance you should raise any matter of concern with the Fostering Team Manager for your area and be clear that the matter is being raised under the whistle blowing policy or you can directly, contact the Council’s confidential freephone whistleblowing number on 0800 0853716.

The Investigation’s team who report to the Head of Corporate Audit and Risk management operate this dedicated line during usual working hours. If you call outside of these hours, you can leave a message on the answer phone. Alternatively, concerns can be put in writing. Please include details of the concern, giving names, dates and places. Although we do not expect you to prove the truth of an allegation, you will need to show that there are sufficient grounds for concern.

Correspondence should be addressed to:

The Investigations Team
PO Box 640
Lincoln
LN1 1WF

Or

e-mail: whistleblowing@lincolnshire.gov.uk

Remember the earlier you raise the concern, the easier it is to take action.

End