Allegations Guidance: Ministerial Foreword
Looked after children need to feel safe and nurtured at all times. Managing allegations against foster carers and approved kinship carers provides detailed best practice guidance on how to respond when there are concerns that this may not be the case. It is designed to both help to ensure positive outcomes for looked after children and to minimise stress on foster and kinship carers when concerns are raised about the welfare and safety of a child in their care. It provides direction on specific issues that relate to foster and kinship care placements and should be considered an additional resource to national child protection guidance.
We recognise the difficult task we ask from foster carers and kinship carers when they take children into their homes and care for them as if they are their own. Children come to carers with complex emotional needs; some will have challenging behaviour and have experienced difficult family relationships. With this kind of complexity it needs to be understood that some allegations may be made about the foster and kinship carers because of the child's conflicting loyalties as well as their lack of basic trust in adults as a result of trauma or neglect.
Managing allegations against foster carers and approved kinship carers recommends an approach which is proportionate, fair and thorough but which retains at its centre the protection of the child and focuses on ensuring their safety and well-being. In the spirit of Getting it Right for Every Child, it will require the willingness of services involved to work and co-operate together to ensure the best outcomes for looked after children. Managing allegations against foster carers and approved kinship carers sits alongside the guidance relating to residential care workers we published in March 2011.
We acknowledge the work carried out by The Fostering Network in consultation with stakeholders to pull together such a thorough guidance document which we hope will be of assistance to agencies when handling situations where allegations have been made.
Aileen Campbell MSP
Minister for Children and Young People
Email: Heather Brown