Foster Carer Supervision

The primary responsibility of Kent Fostering is to ensure the welfare of children placed in the care of foster carers.

As an approved foster carer, you will be allocated a fostering social worker to provide you with support to ensure you have the relevant training and guidance to carry out your role as a foster carer.  This will include safer caring practices alongside working to the National Minimum Standards.

Your allocated (supervising) social worker will ensure that your training and development needs are identified and that newly approved carers work towards completing the Training, Support and Development Standards for Foster Carers Workbook. They are also responsible for making you aware of Kent Fostering’s policies and guidance.

You should be fully aware that you will need to notify your social worker of significant events such as:

  • the death of a child
  • a serious illness or serious accident of a child in your care
  • the outbreak at your home of any infectious disease (which a general practitioner deems to be sufficiently serious to be notified)
  • an allegation that a child living with you has committed a serious offence
  • a child you care for is at risk of being sexually exploited
  • the Police attending your home as a result of a serious incident relating to a child living with you
  • a child in your care who has gone missing
  • any serious concerns about the emotional or mental health of a child, where a mental health assessment would be requested under the Mental Health Act 1983.

The child's allocated social worker should be contacted for specific advice or support in relation to the child and their care plan and placement plan.

Planned Supervision Visits

A programme of supervision visits should be set up and agreed between you and your allocated fostering social worker from the time of your approval.  Your linked (second) carer will be expected to attend supervision visits at least every three months and your fostering social worker will also expect to meet with the children living in your home on a regular basis.

As a newly approved foster carer you will be allocated a senior practitioner or experienced social worker to provide you with the support and guidance during your first year and they will be responsible for presenting your first Annual Review to a  fostering panel.

You will have your allocated social worker for a maximum of 3 years to ensure the professional relationship with you maintains a clear focus on safeguarding children and professional curiosity within your fostering home.  This will be different for those who care for disabled children who will receive an additional unannounced visit from a different member of the team at least once a year.

Supervision is a supportive and enabling two-way process which

  • ensures you understand how you contribute to the Local Authority's services for children
  • enable you to contribute effectively to the plans for the children you care for
  • provide appropriate monitoring and feedback on your work to ensure National Standards for Foster Carers are fully met
  • complete personal development plans with you, which are linked to your training and annual review
  • provide you with advice and to give you an opportunity to raise any problems to ensure they are addressed appropriately
  • acknowledge the challenges and demands that the fostering tasks make on you and your family, ensuring appropriate support is available
  • recognise and address any difficulties your own children may experience
  • assist you to work in an anti-discriminatory way that respects and promotes individual differences

Supervision Agenda

Each meeting will have an agenda which covers

  • goals and plans agreed upon in the previous supervision
  • factors affecting the young person you care for
  • your family wellbeing, health, holidays and finance whilst caring for a child. Safeguarding and practice issues such as child sexual exploitation, missing children, positive behaviour and risk management, complaints, allegations, standards of care, praise and compliments, professional relationships and use of 'signs of safety'
  • care planning and family time which should include the views of the child/young person where appropriate
  • The young person (where appropriate) and your involvement in planning and decision making
  • address issues of drift
  • delegated authority
  • permanency planning
  • transition planning to adulthood for care leavers
  • progress of the child you care for to include wider needs such as health, education, emotional and behaviour development, age appropriate self-care, skill development and boundaries, pocket money and savings
  • learning and development for you and your family

The supervision visit will be recorded on a pro forma Foster Carer Supervision Record which is to be agreed by you and your fostering social worker.  This will include

  • any concerns expressed
  • support needs expressed by you and how these will be met
  • points of action including timescale for completion and by whom

A record of all meetings will be kept on your electronic file with a copy for your records. You should acknowledge receipt of the record which will be sent by secure email and any comments/changes should be recorded on the electronic file.

Your supervision records will inform your annual review.

Frequency of Supervision

Kent's Fostering Service is responsible for ensuring the quality of placements and you will receive regular formal supervision by your allocated fostering social worker on a 4 to 6 weekly basis. For newly approved foster carers and carers who may require temporary additional support, more frequent visits can be arranged dependent on need.