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Getting it right for every child in kinship and foster care




Adoption Policy Review Group report of phase II - Better choices for our children - ( SE publication 2005)

Allegations against Foster Carers - a report on TFN Scotland's Advice, information and Mediation Service ( TFN 2006)

Allegations in Foster Care (A UK Study of foster carers' experiences of allegations) ( TFN 2006)

Caring for our children ( TFN 2005)

Children's Homes and Fostering - report for DfES by Price Waterhouse Cooper, 2006

Children placed with Families and Friends: Placement Patterns and Outcomes - Farmer and Moyers (Executive Summary: 2005). Report will be published in book form in 2007

Foster carers - why they stay and why they leave - Sinclair, Gibbs, Wilson - (Jessica Kingsley, 2004)

Fostering can Never Feel the same for us: a study of foster families that have been the subject an allegation ( TFN 2004)

Fostering Now - Messages from Research - Ian Sinclair - (Jessica Kingsley, 2005)

Fosterline annual report 2006

Knowledge Review 5: Fostering Success - Kate Wilson et al - ( SCIE 2005)

Looked After Children and Young People: We Can and Must Do Better ( SE publication 2007)

Looking after the family: a study of children looked after in kinship care in Scotland Jane Aldgate and Miranda McIntosh - (Social Work Inspection Agency 2006)

Managing allegations and serious concerns about foster carers' practice or standards of care: a guide for fostering services ( TFN 2006)

Managing Allegations of Abuse Against Carers by Martin C. Calder in the RHP Companion to Foster Care edited by Ann Wheal, Russell House Publications

Model procedure for fostering service providers appendix 1: independent support for foster carers ( TFN 2006)

Modernising the foster care service in Scotland - ( TFN 2002)

People involved in the allegations process speak out about things that need to change - comments from the allegations workshop at TFN annual conference, Private Lives, Public Care Glasgow 2006

Protecting Children - Supporting Foster Carers Dealing With an Allegation - DFES (April 2006)

Safeguarding Children in Foster Care ( TFN 2006)

Safer caring by Kate Rose and Anne Savage in the RHP Companion to Foster care edited by Ann Wheal, Russell House Publications

Secure and Safe Homes for Some of our Most vulnerable Children Scottish Executive proposals for actions ( SE publication 2005)

Steps forward - issues arising from TFN focus group meetings Nov 2005

Support for foster carers a discussion paper - ( TFN 2004)

Relevant Legislation and Regulations

  • Social Work (Scotland) Act 1968
  • Children Act 1975
  • Foster Children (Scotland) Act 1984
  • Children (Scotland) Act 1995
  • Regulation of Care Act 2001
  • Protection of Children (Scotland) Act 2003
  • Adoption and Children (Scotland) Act 2007
  • Protection of Vulnerable Groups (Scotland) Act 2007
  • Foster Children (Private Fostering) (Scotland) Regulations 1985
  • Arrangements to Look After Children (Scotland) Regulations 1996
  • Fostering of Children (Scotland) Regulations 1996
  • Regulation of Care (Requirements as to Care Services) (Scotland) Regulations 2002
  • Support and Assistance of Young People Leaving Care (Scotland) Regulations 2003

Annex B
Summary of Responses to Consultation on a National Fostering and Kinship Care Strategy 6

1. There were a range of responses from a variety of viewpoints; both from organisations and from individuals acting as carers. Of those commenting at most questions, there were generally higher numbers of consultees answering positively than negatively, although high proportions of consultees did not provide definitive responses to questions.

2. Comments on the need for financial support occurred frequently across most questions in the consultation. Funding for the provision of training and support by local authorities as well as increased assistance for carers was one of the key themes in the consultation responses. When asked about standard versus minimum fees and allowances, consultees voiced more support for standard rates and the greatest support was for a standard rate of allowance.

3. The need for both respite and 24 hours support for carers was another theme which appeared often in responses and consultees again commented on the need for increased funding and staffing levels to provide these.

4. Consultees identified a need for an increased pool of available carers; as well as more social work or other professional staff to provide assessment and support to both carers and to children and young people. Word of mouth was seen as the best method of recruitment.

5. Parity with foster carers in terms of financial assistance, support and recognition for kinship carers emerged in responses and event reports. This was not only seen in comments from kinship carers themselves but also from local authorities and other organisations. There were also comments on the very different nature of these two caring roles and, while consultees agreed that kinship carers should be entitled to more support these differences would necessitate different methods of delivery.

6. There was widespread support for enabling young people to stay in care for as long as they, and their carers, required. Support for carers to enable them to continue to care for young people reaching adulthood would be required, comments were mainly on the need for continuing financial arrangements but there were also some on the need for extra training in dealing with young people moving on.

7. On the subject of registration, comments indicated that training, development and assessment were more important in improving the foster care service rather than simply a process of registration. While more consultees felt that registration would improve the service than did not, local authorities disagreed.

8. In relation to the protocols surrounding allegations, the main comments were on the need for speedy resolutions and for support for all involved.

9. Looking at the main respondent groups the main focus of comments for each group was as follows:

  • kinship carers: the need to be given access to the same financial and other support normally given to foster carers but with an understanding and consideration of the differences between the two types of care. Some of the individual carer responses and reports from the events for kinship carers gave details of the hardship and difficulties they face.
  • foster carers: foster carer responses include calls for the professionalisation of their role. Associated with this were comments that they do not feel their opinions and experience are valued by professional staff. Extra funding to provide an adequate, realistic standard allowance and to provide money for repairing and replacing household items and transport seen as necessary.
  • local authorities: agreed with the need to provide extra support to both foster and kinship carers but pointed out that extra monies would have to be made available from central funds to allow this to happen. The "other" group of individuals made broadly similar comments to those seen in local authority responses; this may indicate that many of those in this category perhaps work within the foster care service.
  • voluntary/charity organisations along with fostering organisations and carer's groups: tended to make comments similar to those given by carers.
  • young people: wanted to have more say in their placements and also demonstrated considerable understanding of the needs of foster carers. They were strongly supportive of changing the current system to allow young people to remain with their carer after the age of 18.

10. Looking across questions, those responding positively to one question generally gave a positive response to other questions in the same section. This was, however, not the case in relation to mandatory training. While 68 consultees were in favour of mandatory training for foster carers, less than half (31) of those saying yes were also in favour of mandatory training for kinship carers.

11. It is clear that this consultation has given individuals and organisations the opportunity to present a wide range of views on the development of the National Fostering and Kinship Care Strategy. While the strategy was generally welcomed across all categories of respondent, many felt that the details and financial implications needed for carers, both foster and kinship, play a crucial role in helping some of the most vulnerable children and young people in society and young people themselves when asked what makes for an ideal carer gave many answers; patience, caring, forgiveness and good listening skills were mentioned most frequently.

Annex C

The following served on the expert-reference group that contributed to the development of this strategy:

Aberlour Child Care Trust: Addie Stevenson
ADSW Children and Families Sub-committee: Pam Armstrong, Robert Swift
BAAF: Barbara Hudson,
Barnardos: Tam Baillie, Carol Douglas, Sian Horn
Care Commission: Bryan Livingstone
Children 1st: Maddy Halliday, Maggie Mellon, David Wilson
City of Glasgow Council: Anne-Marie Rafferty
CoSLA: Anil Gupta
Getting it Right for Every Child - Scottish Government James Cox
Highland Council: Irene Bloomfield
Kinsfolk Carers: Dorothy Bremner
NCH Scotland: Liz Brabender
St Andrew's Children's Society: Stephen Small
SWIA: Jennifer Crowson
TFN: Anne Black, Debbie Booth, Bryan Ritchie
Scottish Government Officials in the Education and Lifelong Learning, Health and Legal Services Directorates

Further copies can be ordered either by email at nationalfosteringandkinshipcarestrategy@scotland.gsi.gov.uk or by calling Suzanne Allan on 0131 244 0407.