Managing allegations against foster carers and approved kinship carers - How agencies should respond

Managing allegations against foster carers and approved kinship carers provides detailed best practice guidance on how to respond when there are concerns about the safety and well-being of looked after children. It is designed to both help to ensure positive outcomes for looked after children and to minimise stress on foster and kinship carers.

Appendix 3

The Fostering Network's advice and information service known as
Fosterline Scotland

Fosterline Scotland

The Fostering Network is the UK's leading charity for foster care and is dedicated to making foster care better. With over 56,000 foster carers and nearly 400 fostering service members across the UK, the Fostering Network connects everyone involved in fostering and helps everyone work effectively as part of the fostering team.

Members have access to expert advice, the latest information about fostering and the right support when it is needed. All members also get access to exclusive online content,

Foster carer members receive:

Access to expert advice

  • 24hr dedicated confidential helplines:
    • legal advice for all legal queries be they related to fostering or not;
    • medical advice on any medical issue including practical advice regarding first aid;
    • stress counselling.
  • Expert legal assistance from a qualified and experienced local solicitor:
    • should the foster carer or any member of their household be required to attend a police interview as a result of an allegation;
    • legal expenses cover (up to £50,000 in Scotland) if a criminal or civil proceeding is brought against a foster carer or any of their household as a result of an allegation;
    • up to £5,000 of legal expenses incurred in respect of representation (including correspondence) during the period when a carer has been referred through the PVG Scheme for consideration for listing following the investigation of a concern.
    • cover for Supported Lodging (for foster carers and former foster carers) who look after a young person up to the age of 25.

Advice on tax, national insurance and benefits through the Fostering Network's Signposts series and through Fosterline advisors.

The latest information and support

  • Subscription to Foster Care, the UK's longest established fostering magazine.
  • Regular updates through monthly e-newsletters.
  • Training, learning and development opportunities.
  • Access to online resources, which provide information and guidance.
  • Discounts on a range of products and services, including days out for the family.

Connections to the whole fostering community

  • The online community brings members together from across the UK to share their experiences, support each other and take part in 'ask the expert' sessions.
  • Regular events on current topics in fostering.

Influence on the issues that matter

  • Consultation with all our members to help influence UK governments, raise issues and help shape the legislation that affects foster carers - from benefits and pensions, to fair pay and fair allowances.
  • Campaigning to raise the profile and status of foster carers with government and the public through high profile media work.
  • Members can also join the Fostering Network's exclusive policy consultation group

Membership is priced per household per year and covers up to two foster carers and any sons or daughters living in the household, including over 18s. (Legal assistance includes the member, their parents, partner or children resident within Great Britain, Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man). Fostering services can also purchase block membership for their foster carers.

The Fostering Network is also able to provide independent face-to-face support to foster carers during the investigation of concerns, allegations or complaints, on a contracted or spot purchase basis.

To find out more about membership or the work of the Fostering Network
t 0141 204 1400, e or visit


FosterTalk is an independent, not-for-profit organisation focussed on and dedicated to supporting foster carers. We have been successfully delivering our services to over 20,000 foster carers across the UK for over 8 years; and the support services we provide have been developed to enhance placement stability and support fostering service providers in the recruitment and retention of foster carers.

Our membership package is priced per household, per year, and is accessible by all members of the household. Legal expenses insurance extends further to include birth children, partner/spouse, parents, grandparents and any dependant adults including supported lodgings up to the age of 25 years old. Our membership package includes;

  • Legal Expenses Insurance
    • Defence of criminal prosecution – The insurance will pay up to £100,000 of legal expenses incurred in defending a criminal prosecution arising from an alleged offence relating to a fostered child who is or has been in foster care.
    • Defence against civil proceedings – The insurance will pay up to £25,000 of legal expenses incurred in defending civil proceedings brought by a foster child, or their representative, who is or has been under foster care arising from an alleged breach of duties as a foster carer
    • Interview under police caution – The insurance will pay up to £1000 of legal expenses incurred for representation at an interview under police caution arising from an alleged offence relating to a foster child who is or has been under foster care.
    • Appeals – The insurance will pay up to £5,000 per person for legal expenses incurred in respect of representation during stage 4 of the decision making process prior to a barring decision made by the PVG Scheme.
  • 24 Hour Legal Advice on all legal matters -
    • Free and unlimited legal advice on any matter related or non-related to fostering including: banking, criminal, education, family, property, immigration and much more.
  • Social Work/Fostering Advice
    • Confidential, independent and impartial advice from qualified Social Workers/Fostering Advisors who can help clarify policy and procedure, talk through the next steps to take in concerning situations
  • 24 Hour Counselling Support Line
    • Confidential service from qualified counselors – foster carers are free to discuss any subject, not just fostering related matters.
  • 24 Hour Medical/First Aid Helpline
    • Access to our 24-hour telephone advice on medical and healthcare matters, including practical advice regarding first aid
  • Tax, Accountancy, National Insurance and Benefits advice
    • Specialists in foster carer tax, self-employment, benefits and national insurance
  • Personal Finance Advice – Mortgages, Pensions, Savings
    • Qualified advisors who specialise in foster carer finances including; mortgages, pensions, income protection and saving plans
  • Education Support Helpline
    • Offering support and advice on a range of education issues, including: school admissions and appeals, exclusions, special needs/additional support, uniform, homework planning, lesson plans and much more.
  • Over 4000 fantastic discounts/offers on lifestyle products and services across the UK
    • We have special offers in a wide range of areas, including home and garden, electrical, entertainment, leisure, food and drink, gifts and flowers, sports and fitness and motoring
  • On-line Carer Forums
    • Secure online forum to share your experiences and seek the views of Foster Carers from over 90 Local Authorities and Independent Fostering Service Providers nationwide.
  • Quarterly FosterTalk Magazine
    • Delivered straight to our members’ doorstep. Packed with news, views and fostering related issues, our magazine is designed to reflect Carers’ comments and also includes member and non-member contributions
  • Have YOUR Say
    • Links to relevant government consultations for Foster Carers to respond and get personally involved in current political campaigns through a partnership with BAAF.

“FISS” – Foster Carers Independent Support Service

FosterTalk also provides the Foster Carers Independent Support Service (FISS) offering locally based support, professional advice, advocacy and/or mediation to foster families during difficult situations such as the investigation of an allegation, serious concern or complaint.

FISS provides you and your foster carers with:

  • Guaranteed response to referral within 24hrs
  • Locally based independent qualified social workers with extensive fostering experience.
  • Support that is confidential, responsive and personal.
  • An Advisor who is independent of the fostering service
  • An Advisor who will visit the carer in their home if required
  • An Advisor who will support other members of the fostering household if required
  • An Advisor who will support foster carers at meetings and panels
  • An Advisor that will liaise with key professionals as required
  • Objective support and guidance to carers so they are informed and supported throughout the process.
  • A fully managed service

FISS support can be ‘Spot Purchased’ on a case by case basis or on an annual contract.

If you would like to know more about the services we offer and the way in which we can help support foster carers, please call 01527 836 910, email us at or visit our website

ParentLine Scotland

ParentLine Scotland is a free helpline and email service for anyone with a concern about a child.

Launched in 1999, ParentLine Scotland receives over 5,000 calls and emails every year. People call for all sorts of reasons including difficult relationships with teenagers, separation and divorce, bullying, family relationships, kinship care concerns, money, postnatal depression and child abuse for example, but they also call for lots of other reasons too. There really is no problem too big or small.

Calls come from parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, brothers, sisters, neighbours and friends who all want the same thing - to try and make things better. Many callers get in touch when they are at the end of their tether and feel like they can't cope anymore. Sometimes callers are embarrassed about asking for help but they soon find that just talking things through can really make a difference.

If you have a problem, don't wait until you feel things get out of control. If you have never phoned a helpline before why not give Parentline a call on 08000 28 22 33 or email us and let us help?

To get in touch call the helpline on 0800 028 2233. It is open Mon, Wed and Fri
9am to 5pm, Tues and Thurs 9am to 10pm, Sat and Sun 12noon to 8pm. Or if you prefer, email trained volunteer call takers at

Parentline also offer a specialist service of advice and information to kinship carers from this number.

About Who Cares? Scotland

About Who Cares? Scotland

Who Cares? Scotland is a national voluntary organisation - established in 1978 - providing a range of advocacy, advice and support services across Scotland for children and young people with experience of care up to the age of 25.

The organisation's core work is the provision of independent advocacy, advice, support to and representation of young people who are or have been looked-after and accommodated - we call these children and young people with care experience.

Who Cares? Scotland work throughout Scotland and have a national network of experienced children and young person advocates.

Who Cares? Scotland work directly with Scotland's children and young people in care, listening to what they say, supporting them and speaking out on their behalf. They promote and protect their rights and involve them in the decisions. Who Cares? Scotland place young people at the heart of everything they do to help them live a positive life now and to reach their full potential in the future.

Contact them, t 0141 226 4441 or visit


Email: Heather Brown

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