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Advocacy Service

Service offering advocacy to support children in care to attend review meetings and offer independent visiting for children with no contact with their birth families.

An advocate may visit a child in placement and will be present at meetings.


Area learning advocate

ALAs are part of Devon’s Virtual School and have an overview of children in care in education. They become involved when additional advice and support are required regarding education.


Birth parents

The foster child’s parents. Carers will need to build working relationships with parents and support contact.


Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service

Service for young people who require mental health support. A foster carer might attend some sessions or enable a young person to attend by offering transport.

Care plan

A plan agreed at the CIC review (see ‘CIC review’, below)

The plan sets out how outcomes for children in care will be achieved and who is responsible.


Children and Family Court Advisory Service

Will visit the child, often in placement, if court proceedings are underway.


Child looked after

A young person placed in a foster carer household.

CLA nurses

Child looked after nurses

Specific nurses to support the health needs of children in care and undertake regular health assessments.

CIC review – now to be thought of as the child’s meeting

Child in care review

Regular review meetings including foster carers, birth family, health, education and other relevant services to agree and review a care plan for a child in care. Chaired by an independent reviewing officer (IRO).

CM (previously OM)

County Manager (previously Operations Manager)

Manager of the Permanence and Fostering Service. Has a county-wide role managing practice managers and having strategic oversight of the Permanence and Fostering Service.

In children’s social work the equivalent role is known as an Area Manager (AM).

CP plans

Child protection plans

These are started in child protection conferences and are then regularly reviewed. These plans usually end when a child comes into care.


Child Placement Support Team

Service to support the foster placement through planned work and emergency response. Point of contact for evening and weekend support for foster carers.

Delegated authority

Agreement deciding who can make decisions about a child in care

Foster carers will be delegated the authority to make decisions about the everyday care of the foster child. For example, sleepovers or haircuts.

This will be agreed with those holding parental responsibility.


Education Health and Care Plan

Assessed additional needs of a child or young person put into a plan.


Emergency Duty Team

Out-of-hours team offering emergency support outside of office hours. Facilitate emergency placements in the evenings and weekends.


Education Welfare Officer

Tasked with supporting school attendance, often in attendance at school meetings about children in care.


Foster to adopt

Foster placements for babies and young children where the plan is likely to be adoption, but who still have a chance of being reunited with their birth family. The majority of children go on to be adopted.

Family time

A term used to describe when a foster child is going to see or hear from their parents or family and other significant people.


Family practitioner

An individual working with the birth families to support/assess the situation. They may also work with children in care to support the placement and provide life story work.


Family support worker

An individual working with the birth families to support/assess the situation. They may also work with children in care to support the placement and provide life story work.


Full-time education or fixed term exclusion

Refers to the education status of a child.


Child’s guardian (Guardian ad litem)

The foster child’s legal representative in the family courts.


Interim care order

This is when a child or young person is in care under a court order via the family law courts.


Initial health assessment

Organised by the Child Looked After Nurse Team. A foster carer may be involved to support the child or young person.


Supervised Contact Service

For children needing fully supervised contact. The team may be transporting children and supervising contact.


Independent reviewing officer

Independent social worker who chairs planning meetings for children in care, oversees the social worker’s plan and ensures the voice of the child is heard. IROs often visit the foster placement before meetings to meet the child and carers.


A form that details a request for a foster placement

Foster carers will often have sight of these forms in order to be clear about desired outcomes for the children in their care and for matching purposes.


Local Authority Designated Officer

The person who deals with allegations made against people working with children, including foster carers.


A term used when trying to find a possible suitable placement for a child.


Not in education, employment or training

Young people who are not in education, employment or on a training course.

Pathway plan

A plan agreed to support young people aged 15 and over to move toward independence.

Like a care plan but specifically for older young people in care. Foster carers will often be supporting independence skills and learning.


Personal education allowance

An allowance to pay for additional activities or learning opportunities – to be agreed upon at a Personal Education Plan meeting.

Peer guides

Experienced foster carer mentors

A group of existing and experienced foster carers who are happy to be contacted with any questions, especially from newly approved foster carers.

PEP and PEP meetings

Personal Education Plan

Regular meetings for children in care at school to think about support needed and individual goals. Foster carers are expected to attend.


Personal health plan

A health plan put together with a child in care and the CLA nurse to ensure that health needs are met. The first meeting is normally undertaken with the child, foster carer and paediatrician.


Practical housing units

Accredited pieces of work that a young person can undertake with a support worker or foster carer to prepare for independence.

Placement co-ordinator

Fostering Devon coordinators who match children in care and foster carers

Team to coordinate the matching of children and foster carers, enabling children’s social workers to choose the best placement for each child by providing profiles of our carers.


Practice manager

Manager of local fostering teams, supervising and supporting supervising social workers.


Permanency planning meeting

A meeting that is held to ensure long-term plans for a child in care are being made. Foster carers are expected to attend and share views and updates on the child in the home.


Placement planning meeting

Meeting held either before or within five days of a child arriving. Carers, social workers and birth family to plan for a foster placement.

Placement planning meeting report

Completed by the placing social worker at the placement planning meeting. Important for foster carers to know what has been agreed about the placement and what decisions they can make (see ‘delegated authority’).


Parental responsibility

A parent or guardian who has legal rights and responsibilities for the child.


Pupil referral unit

Specialist education provision for young people who are excluded from mainstream schooling.


Quality Assurance, Reviewing and Safeguarding Service

The service where the independent reviewing officers (IROs) work.


Service around the child (CAMHS)

Work with foster carers to support the emotional needs of the child or young person.


Speech and language therapy

Service may be involved with children in placement to address speech and language needs.

Section 20

Section 20 of the Children Act 1989 – Voluntary Agreement

This is when a child or young person comes into care with agreement from their parents.


Social, emotional and mental health


Special guardianship order

Child living with carers who have parental responsibility for them until they are 18 years old.


Supervising social worker

Fostering social worker tasked with supervising and supporting foster carers, undertaking yearly reviews and regular supervision.


Child’s social worker

Person responsible for making sure the foster child receives the care they need.


Youth Offending Team

Service directed by the youth justice system to support young people with offending behaviours. Often involves foster carers to support attendance at meetings or address certain behaviours.


Police recording form sent to Children’s Services where children are involved.

Foster carers may have sight of these when a child in their care has been involved in a police incident.