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5.1.7 Blood Borne Viruses


This Chapter deals with Foster Carers with blood-borne infections and should be read in conjunction with CoramBAAF Guidance on Smoking in Family Placements re Blood Borne Infections.


  1. Key Principles
  2. Confidentiality

1. Key Principles

There is a negligible risk to children cared for in the homes of carers with HBV,HCV or HIV.

All foster carers need to be given education about simple infection control measures that reduce the risk of the spread of diseases (universal precautions).

It is important that the Authority as an employer, as well as individual managers, is clear and explicit about the standards of confidentiality expected from staff.

The Authority may regard any breaches of confidentiality as a disciplinary offence for consideration through the normal recognised procedures.

2. Confidentiality

The number of people to be informed of a person's blood-borne infection status should be kept to a minimum and this information will only shared on a "need-to-know" basis.

Staff who receive this information need to be fully aware of the need to maintain the strictest confidentiality.

The prospective foster carer should be advised of whether and how the information about their infection may be recorded and who is likely to have access to it.

As part of the assessment, the social worker should explore the prospective carer’s health status. The Fostering Panel should be made aware of this information as it would with any other medical condition that could be relevant to the fostering application.

The Supervising Social Worker will need to be aware of the foster carer’s infection status, but this information should not be routinely shared with other staff in the division.

Disclosure of information about a foster carer’s blood-borne infection status to a third party should only take place with the informed consent of that person.