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Expectations of foster carers

Foster carers will be caring for children and young people who have experienced developmental trauma, abuse and neglect and their approach to parenting must reflect this.

Foster carers need to embrace support from professionals and training opportunities to further their understanding and use of therapeutic parenting.

Foster carers and professionals will work together to ensure the child has attachment security, ensuring that the relationship with one, or both carers who have a parenting role in their day-to-day care is consistent and reliable.

Having a safe place to live is imperative to a child’s repair and their new home needs to offer healing relationships.

Foster carers are asked to accept our children or young people as part of their family and

  • encourage the child to personalise their room
  • encourage them to engage in all family activities
  • provide opportunities for them to build friendships through clubs or activities and sleepovers with friends
  • provide transport to and from school and encourage learning.  Please note that transport to school may be up to 45mins travel in each direction
  • ensure children are taken to health appointments

Foster carers will work with the ‘team around the child‘ and their role will include:

  • attending meetings and preparing reports when necessary
  • providing child-friendly daily or weekly logs of the children in your care for social workers
  • working closely with schools to help the child reach their maximum potential
  • building and maintaining positive relationships with professionals
  • working closely with health professionals and therapists, driving the child to appointments and supporting them throughout

Foster carers will promote family time as per the child’s plan and this may include:

  • supervision of family time, if appropriate and safe, if necessary
  • driving the child or young person to family time venues
  • facilitating sibling family time through liaison with other foster carers

Foster carers will work closely with their supervising social workers, attending all arranged supervisions and completing all necessary documents needed for their annual review.

Foster carers will be expected to attend their first review at panel and subsequently every four years.

Foster carers must complete the annual expectation of training courses and support groups as highlighted in the foster carer handbook and agreement. Usually, six of each per year.

When attending support groups and training opportunities, carers are expected to stay for the duration of the event.

Foster carers need to complete their Training Standards Development (TSD) workbook within their first year of fostering and before their first panel review date.

Foster carers will strengthen the stability of their family by using all available support in a timely manner.

Foster carers will keep Devon County Council informed of all significant events, such as significant illness or accidents and unauthorised absences from home.

Foster carers will comply with all of Devon’s policies and procedures for the protection of children and young people in their care (most of the policies and procedures that affect you are included in shortened form in the Foster Carer Handbook. Your fostering social worker can give you information about specific policies, as you need them).

Foster carers will ensure safer care plans are used within the home to safeguard themselves and children or young people who are fostered. These should be updated at a minimum annually, and these will be individualised for each child.

If children move on, foster carers must ensure their belongings are packed respectfully and considerately. Please ensure suitcases, boxes and holdalls are used.

Fostered children should be included in your family holidays so please discuss these arrangements with your supervising social worker and the child’s social worker.

Where a fostered child is unable to join you on holiday, please also discuss this in advance so that a suitable short break can be found.

Foster carers should inform us of any significant changes in their household, such as:

  • plans to move
  • a change in household composition
  • the breakdown of foster carers’ relationship
  • new partners
  • significant illness or injury in the household
  • new pets