Family and Friends Fostering
What is Friends and Family Care?
This is when a child/ young person who is ‘looked after’ by the local authority is placed by that Local Authority with a family member/s (other than a parent) or a friend who knows the child very well.
A child /young person is described as “looked after” if they are accommodated by the Local Authority under section 20 of the Children Act 1989 or are subject to an Interim or full Care Order issued by a Court.
Who are Family and Friends Carers?
Family and Friends carers can be
- Aunts and Uncles
- Adult brothers and sisters
- Other family members or friends of the family who have an important relationship with the children
How do I become a Family and Friends carer?
If a child becomes “looked after” by the Local Authority its allocated social worker would explore whether the child could be placed within its family or with someone well known to the child. If a family member or friend wanted to care for the child the social worker would need to assess whether this was a safe and suitable placement and in the best interests of the child.
The Assessment Process
- You will be required to complete a Family and Friends Application Form
- You will be expected to have full medical checks with your GP. This will be paid for by the Children & Young People’s Service
- Provide 2 personal referees who can comment on your suitability as a prospective carer. Referees will also be interviewed by the social worker
- Agree for Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) forms to be completed and provide relevant ID
- A social worker would then prepare a report about you which would be presented to the Fostering Panel who would give their views on whether you should be a Family and Friends Carer for a particular child
What happens if I have been approved as a Family and Friends Carer?
Once it has been agreed that you can be approved; you will be sent a formal letter telling you that you are approved as a Family and Friends Carer. This letter will name the children you are approved to care for.
- You will be invited to join the Fostering Network
- You will be allocated a Supervising Social Worker from the Family and Friends Team
- Relevant training and support will be given
- Your approval will be reviewed each year
- You will be paid a weekly allowance for the child for whom you care
What is the Supervising Social Workers (SSW) Role?
The SSW will visit you as and when required. The frequency of visits will be discussed and agreed between you and your SSW. The SSW will provide support and supervision as required by the Fostering Regulations and Standards; this will include training, advice and annual reviews of carer.
The role of the social worker for the child/young person in your care
The child will have a social worker who will visit him/her at least 6 weekly to monitor their progress. This worker will also organise looked after child reviews and work with other professionals such as teachers and health workers to ensure the child’s welfare needs are met.
What payments do I receive?
Family and friends carers receive a weekly allowance. The amount of allowance paid depends on the child’s age.
Family and Friends who receive a fostering allowance are not entitled to claim income support or Child benefit for the Child/Young person in their care.
If you claim Income Support for yourself and your family, this will not be affected by being a Family and Friends carer. Job seeker's allowance may be affected.
Family and Friends Team
35 Saltaire Road
Telephone 01274 437343