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Positive Aspirations (of which Fostering Hearts is part of)

Foster Carer Charter

 

Positive Aspirations Group recognises that foster carers should be regarded as full members of the team working with a child. We are a motivated fostering agency that understands the importance of working with our foster carers to provide high quality services and care for the children that are placed with us.

 This foster carer charter is a shared agreement which sets out what we can expect from each other and demonstrates our joint responsibilities to the children and young people in our care. This charter explains what all parties can expect from one another.

 

The purpose of the Fostering Charter is:

  • to reinforce open and honest partnership working between foster carers, supervising social workers and the Agency.

 

  • to ensure foster carers are supported to care for all Children in Care to be the ‘best they can be’.

 

      Positive Aspirations Group

The Positive Aspirations Group is committed to building incredible futures for vulnerable children and young people by empowering and advocating to aspire and achieve in all aspects of their lives. Our goal is to ensure that everyone within Greater London Fostering, Fostering Hearts, and Southcoast Fostering are aware of the importance of positive aspirations and therefore we seek to promote this within every stage of the fostering process – from the initial call all the way through to long term placements.

Positive Aspirations Group are not only about achieving well academically, it is also about recognising the seemingly small things that can also be achieved by a person to enable them to have self-belief.  We seek to promote this by inspiring our foster carers and staff, foster children and birth children to achieve (and encourage others to achieve) in a way that is meaningful to them.

Positive Aspirations Group aim to provide a high standard of care for children and young people where they can experience as full a family life as possible as part of a loving foster family with carers who can make everyday decisions as they would their own child and without the child or young person feeling that they ‘stand out’ as a looked after child. Children must be given every support to develop their own identities and aspirations, fulfil their potential, and take advantage of all opportunities to promote their talents and skills so they feel valued, supported and encouraged to grow and develop as individuals.

The fostering service’s role

The fostering service aims to provide stable and first-rate foster care for children who are valued, supported and encouraged to grow and develop as individuals.

To achieve this, we aim the service recruits, trains and approves foster carers and delivers ongoing support to them, in order to give them the skills and confidence they need to develop meaningful relationships with the children and young people they care for. In this way the service provides stable and loving homes while the children are part of the foster family.

The foster carer’s role

Foster carers should care for and support children in their care by developing meaningful relationships in a safe and nurturing family environment. The stability, care and love provided by foster carers helps the child to achieve recovery and healing from past trauma and promotes resilience in order for the child to realise their full potential.

 

Agency’s commitment

This is what foster carers can expect from us:

  • Working in equal partnership
  • To be seen as a valued member of the team around the child
  • To share with you all information that we have on a child or young person at the point of a referral or soon after.
  • Clarity about decisions made
  • Support to increase foster carer confidence and resilience
  • Ongoing learning and development
  • Fair treatment
  • Communication and consultation.
  • To assist you in obtaining delegated responsibility where day to day decisions can be made unless there are explicit reasons and there is more proportionate and open approach to all decisions particularly in long term and settled placement

 

Foster carers’ commitment

What we expect from our foster carers:

  • Foster carers will work in equal partnership
  • Respect the child and the members of the team around the child
  • Provide information promptly when requested
  • Continue learning and developing their skills

 

What foster carers can expect from Positive Aspirations Group

 

  1. Working in partnership

We recognise that foster carers have skills and expertise and make the biggest difference to the everyday lives of children in care.

We will:

  • Value your skills and expertise equal to those of other professionals
  • Recognise that you are the people who live with children every day and know them best
  • Include you in all meetings that affect you and the children you care for
  • Ensure that our fostering service will meet the standards set out in fostering regulations and guidance
  • Treat you without discrimination and respect you as a colleague
  • Respect confidentiality.
  • Respect your views, whilst acknowledging that we may not always agree but ensure that decisions made are in a child’s best interests.

 

  1. Information

We know that information is vital in order for foster carers to provide care that meets the child’s need.

We will:

  • Recognise in practice the importance of the child’s relationship with his or her foster family as one that can make the biggest difference in the child’s life and which can endure into adulthood.
  • Give you all the information you need in order to care safely for the child
  • Provide this information in writing prior to placement, or as soon as possible in the case of emergency placements
  • Ensure that there is a placement plan drawn up in discussion with you and agreed with you in advance of placements, or as soon as possible in the case of emergency placements
  • Provide you with information on all financial matters including tax, allowances and additional entitlements
  • Provide you with full details of all relevant departmental policies and procedures.
  • Ensure that a Safe Caring Policy and Risk Assessment is completed in a timely fashion for each child and visit within 72 hours of placement.

 

  1. Clarity about decisions

We recognise that in order for children to live a full family life foster carers should be able to make decisions regarding the children they foster.

We will:

  • Ensure that, wherever possible, you are able to make everyday decisions that mean that your fostered child is not treated differently to their peers and can feel part of your family
  • Provide clarity about any decision you cannot take at the outset so that everyone understands who is responsible for what.
  1. Support

We recognise that fostering is an isolating and challenging task and appropriate and timely support makes all the difference to the fostering family and to the child in your care.

We will:

  • Provide you with monthly supervision, more if required
  • Telephone contact
  • Support in attending meetings with the
  • Give you honest and open feedback
  • Provide you with access to 24 hour support from people with fostering expertise
  • Pay you allowances, expenses, and fees in a timely manner

 

  1. Learning and development

We believe that foster carers must be enabled to access learning and development opportunities throughout their fostering career. This will ensure they have the skills and knowledge they need and allow them to develop their practice in order that they can help transform the lives of the children they foster.

We will:

  • Provide you and your family with appropriate and relevant training by trainers who understand the fostering task
  • Enable you to develop meaningful relationships with the children in your care and the fellow members of the team around the child
  • Provide you with other development opportunities which make the best use of your skills and expertise, such as mentoring or providing training or support.
  1. Fair treatment

We recognise that foster carers have a right to be treated fairly, no matter what the circumstances.

We will:

  • Consult with you before changing terms and conditions
  • Ensure openness in all of our discussions and communications with you
  • Ensure that you are treated with respect, kept informed and provided with emotional support should you be subject to an allegation
  • Provide a framework for dealing with allegations and adhere to our agreed timescale
  • Offer you independent support during an allegation investigation if you require it
  1. Communication and consultation

We believe that open and honest dialogue is the key to a good relationship.

We will:

  • Facilitate regular communication between you, the agency, the local authority and other agencies where applicable
  • Ensure that we consult with you in a meaningful way on matters that affect you
  • Give you timely feedback from consultations
  • Take on board feedback from foster carer support groups and other participation events.
  • Hold regular ‘meet the managers meetings’ at foster carers request.

 What the Agency expects from Foster Carers

 

  1. Working in partnership

Foster Carers will demonstrate a high standard of care and conduct.

Foster Carers will:

  • Provide children with a positive experience of family life
  • Attend meetings about the children and young people they care for
  • Work with the agencies involved with the child such as school, health, and religious establishments
  • Show a willingness to work with birth parents, wider family and people significant in a child’s life
  • Meet the standards set out in fostering regulations and guidance and follow departmental policies and procedures
  • Respect and maintain confidentiality.
  1. Respect for the child

Every child and young person should be respected as an individual and be supported in meeting their needs and achieving their aspirations and potential.

Foster Carers will:

  • Develop a meaningful relationship with the child: understand their needs, support their growth, and become an advocate and champion for them
  • Provide positive adult role models, treat the foster child as they would their own child, and be a “pushy parent” in advocating for all aspects of the child’s development, including educational attainment and physical and emotional health and wellbeing and co-operate fully as part of a team with other key professionals in the child’s life.
  • Support their foster child and do all they can to make the placement work.
  • Take part in learning and development, use skills and approaches that make a positive impact and enable the child to reach his or her potential. Support their foster child to help them to counter possible bullying and discrimination as a result of their care status.
  • Respect and promote a child’s religious, linguistic and cultural heritage
  • Afford the same level of protection and care to a child as they would their own child in accordance with the National Minimum Standard’s
  • Ensure the child has the right to make decisions regarding their own lives, as appropriate to their age and understanding.
  1. Information

Foster Carers value that open and honest dialogue is the key to a good relationship and will aim to build a meaningful and collaborative relationship with their supervising social worker and other the Agency Staff.

Foster Carers will:

  • Inform their supervising social worker about changes in our household
  • Inform their supervising social worker about any difficulties that arise with the fostering household.
  1. Learning, development, and support

Foster Carers must attend relevant training and be jointly responsible for identifying relevant training for learning and development opportunities. This will ensure that they have the skills and knowledge needed to allow them to develop their practice in order that they can help transform the lives of the children they foster.

Foster Carers will:

  • Be willing and able to develop their skills throughout our fostering career
  • Attend relevant training
  • Take up learning opportunities offered to them
  • Let their supervising social worker know if they are unable to attend any training identified
  • Attend and contribute to support groups.
  1. Communication and consultation

Open and honest dialogue is key to a good working relationship.

Foster Carers will:

  • Respond to consultation requests and discussion in order to inform the development of  service delivery at FH
  • Meet with managers and others in order to promote dialogue and a good working relationship
  • Support the children in their care to attend Agency’s Youth Council.