3.7.4 Changes to Terms of Approval

SCOPE OF THIS CHAPTER

This chapter deals with, changes to a foster carer’s terms of approval, and emergency placements of a child with a foster carer outside the terms of their approval for up to 6 working days.

This is a separate issue from an exemption to the usual number of children in a foster home – see Exemptions to the Usual Fostering Limit Procedure.

There may be occasions where the placement of a child will involve both changes to terms of approval / emergency placement for up to 6 working days and an extension beyond the usual number of children.

AMEMDMENT

This chapter was updated throughout in February 2016, and should be re-read. Section 2, Immediate amendments to foster carer’s terms of approval and Section 3, Changes to Foster Carers Terms ofApproval Through the Review Process have been added.


Contents

  1. Generally
  2. Immediate Amendments to Foster Carer’s Terms of Approval
  3. Changes to Foster Carers Terms of Approval Through the Review Process


1. Generally

1. The terms of approval for a foster carer are determined at the point of their approval i.e. via a recommendation of the Fostering Panel and subsequently by the Agency Decision Maker.
2. Good practice suggests that any changes in the terms of a foster carer's approval should only be considered at the time of the foster carer's review and agreed at Fostering Panel;
3. However, there are occasions when it may be appropriate to consider temporary, short term changes in their terms of approval to accommodate children with specific needs. This change in terms of approval must be agreed by a Team Manager in the Fostering Teams.


2. Immediate Amendments to Foster Carer’s Terms of Approval

2.1 Please note that for the first 6 working days of a placement made in an emergency the carers terms of approval do not need to be amended, but if it is to be longer than this, their agreement in writing must be obtained during this period and their terms of approval amended.
2.2

If it is determined by a team manager that it is necessary and appropriate for a carer’s terms of approval to be amended immediately, and the foster carer is in agreement, then the process is as follows:

  • Form WSS915 is completed by the social/duty worker and authorised by a team manager within 2 working days. As this does not now have to be completed on the same day this gives opportunity for the views of the children and the children’s social workers to be obtained. It is essential that any additional support needs of the family are identified and it is clear in the report how these are to be met;
  • The WSS915, a covering letter and the consent form are sent to the foster carer on the same day the placement is identified;
  • The foster carer must return the consent from, within 6 working days of the date of the start of the placement, giving agreement to either the amendment being for the duration of this placement or as a permanent amendment. (The supervising social worker must obtain this from the carer if they fail to return it);
  • The foster carer’s agreement to the changes to their terms of approval and the WSS915 is considered by the second Agency Decision Maker, who then writes to the foster carer (via the panel administrator) with an amended notice of their terms of approval;
  • The panel administrator will amend the foster carer register and all other records;
  • If the amendment is only for the duration of the placement, then the supervising social worker must notify the panel advisor when the placement ends and new notice, advising the carer that their terms of approval have reverted back, will be sent by the second ADM via the panel administrator;
  • The panel administrator will amend the foster carer register and all other records.


3. Changes to Foster Carers Terms of Approval through the Review Process

3.1 If a foster carer review is undertaken which recommends an amendment to a foster carer’s terms of approval, they will give explicit consent to this by signing the final review report.
3.2

If the carer does not agree with the recommendation to change the terms of approval then they must make this clear at the end of the IRO’s report and they must sign it. The form has been amended to include a new box:

“Do you agree with the contents and recommendations of this report. If you do not please clearly state what you do not agree with and the reasons.”

3.3

If the carer agrees to the proposed changes to the terms of approval, then the review report will be considered at the fostering panel or the review meeting.

If the carer does not agree with the proposed changes then it must go to fostering panel.

If the recommendation of the Fostering Panel and the decision of the ADM is that the carer’s terms of approval are amended, and the carer has given agreement to this, then no qualifying determination is required and a letter with an amended notice of their terms of approval is sent to the carer.

If the recommendation of the Fostering Panel and the decision of the ADM is that the carer’s terms of approval are amended, but the carer has not given agreement to this, then a qualifying determination is sent to the carers. They then have the right to follow the usual appeals procedures

End