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3.1.12 Support for Permanent / Long Term Fostering Placements

SCOPE OF THIS CHAPTER

For those placements that have been agreed as Permanent/Long Term Fostering, this procedure outlines the support that should be provided to the placements and how it will be reviewed.

RELEVANT CHAPTERS

Disruption of Placement Procedure


Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Support Meetings
  3. Visits to Placements
  4. Involvement of Birth Children
  5. Annual Review of Foster Carers
  6. Training Needs
  7. Disruption Meetings


1. Introduction

For children and young people with Permanent/Long Term Fostering placements, it is important to ensure the placement is supported by the Local Authority to achieve a positive experience for the child, and to ensure the placement is reviewed regularly to establish if this is still the best option for the child and family. The following procedure outlines the support that should be provided to the placement and the review mechanism.


2. Support Meetings

The first placement support meeting should be held within 12 months of the placement being made Permanent/Long Term and will follow a set agenda.

2.1 Support Meeting Agenda

The Support Meeting Agenda will cover the following:

  • Placement history;
  • Progress of placement;
  • Child strengths and needs (consider SDQ score);
  • The carers strengths and needs (consider training);
  • Any additional support identified;
  • Current contact arrangements;
  • Any actions agreed;
  • Date & time of next meeting - if agreed/needed.

Further meetings can be requested by anyone involved within the child’s placement / care plan to consider any additional support needs.

Meetings should however take place in preparation for, or at point of the child/young persons transition to secondary school (KS3) and at KS4 or when carers begin to indicate the possibility of disruption.

Minutes or a record should be made and shared with attendees; a copy should be retained on the child and carers files and presented to the next Looked After Child (LAC) Review for information.

The meeting should include the Social Worker (SW), Supervising Social Worker (SSW), Carers, Child/Young Person and any additional relevant professional (PSW, LACES, CAMHS etc).

There will be occasions when the carers birth children should be a part of these discussions and the meeting should consider any support that is needed by birth children.


3. Visits to Placement

The frequency of Social Worker visits may reduce from 6 weekly to 12 weekly when a plan of permanence has been agreed; however this should be discussed and agreed at a LAC review and may not be appropriate at that time

The frequency of Supervising Social Worker visits should be discussed with the child’s carers and the child’s social worker and to be agreed in supervision. The minimum is 3 monthly for supervision with additional telephone contact or additional visits in between.


4. Involvement of Birth Children

The Supervising Social Worker will see the birth children alone to gain their views when they visit the placement. This will take place at a minimum of 6 monthly and before the carer’s annual review.


5. Annual Review of Foster Carers

The forms for the annual review of the Foster Carers should be completed by the Supervising Social Worker, the Social Worker, the Independent Reviewing Officer and young person, the carers and birth children.

The forms will be sent by the Supervising Social Worker 4 weeks before the annual review.

Feedback from the review will be provided to the Social Worker.


6. Training Needs

Permanent/Long Term carers will need additional skills and this includes those that were originally task centred carers. This should be discussed as part of the decision making regarding the placement being permanent and a training and development plan for the carers should be agreed. 

The first annual carers review post permanence, should consider whether the training identified previously has been completed and if not the timescales for completion. Additional training should include attachment training, nurtured heart, SPOT, TCI, therapeutic parenting or equivalent.


7. Disruption Meetings

There is a stand-alone Disruption of Placement Procedure to include task centred and permanent/long term placements.

It is an automatic assumption that a disruption meeting will take place for all permanent placements (i.e. those that have been linked at Panel). However, the fostering Team Manager will decide if placements over 6 months, which have ended in an unplanned, way should hold a disruption meeting.

Some placements will end/disrupt, however this ending can be achieved in a planned way for the child/young person.

If the placement was intended to be Long Term, then a disruption meeting will take place.

End