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Topic : Independent Support/Advocacy (nms 22.12) Foster Carer views…

This topic contains 15 replies, has 7 posts, and was last updated 2 years, 3 months ago.

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  • fosterine_avatars_03

    Steve

    I wondered what experience Foster Carers have had in relation to accessing Independent Support, what this support has been like and what they would say to other Foster Carers who may benefit from this?

    Jane1

    I think independent support is a great thing for carers – at a time they may feel alone, unsupported and very vulnerable, they can access emotional support and often just a listening ear makes all the difference

    fosterine_avatars_05

    Christian

    Does anyone know whether it is ever refused.

    fosterine_avatars_13

    Suz58

    I have had an allegation made against me and have requested independent support but my agency have been reluctant to provide any. What rights do I have to insist?

    fosterine_avatars_14

    gp123

    I know of situations where Independent Support has been refused. If your Fostering Provider is reluctant to provide Independent Support you can write or email your fostering service manager to politely remind them of National Minimum Standard 22.12 which says that Foster Carers facing allegations should be offered Independent Support. However the National Minimum Standards are Standards and not Regulations. If your request for Independent Support is still refused you could ask for a copy of the Fostering Service’s Complaints Procedure.

    fosterine_avatars_05

    Christian

    Hi if the independent support is refused, the agency can be remind if it goes to appeal the IRM would not be impressed at a foster carer being left to deal with such a sensitive area unsupported. Appealing higher up the agency may help as they may see the importance in the long term.

    fosterine_avatars_05

    Christian

    Does anyone know of any independent support from social workers before it gets as serious as an allegation.

    Jane1

    what are people’s views about being given independent support from other carers? im not sure this is completely independent?

    fosterine_avatars_03

    Steve

    Whilst “peer support’ can be a really helpful part of a foster carers network I suspect it could fall short of support which is provided by specially trained advocacy/support workers. One other concern is that the Foster Carer providing support may not feel completely impartial..

    fosterine_avatars_14

    gp123

    I agree with you Jane1. I can’t see how being supported by another Foster Carer from the same organisation is completely independent.

    Jane1

    the problem is that it is only a standard and therefore there is not legal requirement so carers are left unsupported. Also some carers are told about support but very late on in the allegation process

    fosterine_avatars_13

    Harriet

    This is true that sometimes carers are not offered independent support until they have a date to attend a Review or even Panel.

    fosterine_avatars_03

    Steve

    I’m aware that some agencies/IFAs are still providing ‘peer group’ support from fellow Foster Carers and that some foster carers have serious concerns re whether this support is ‘independent’ along with other concerns about confidentiality.

    fosterine_avatars_06

    Sandra

    This does often appear to be the case. I suppose it is good to have the general support of other foster carers who have experienced allegations themselves but agree there are confidentiality issues if this is being used to replace Independent Support under NMS 22.12. The National Minimum Standard 22.12 makes it clear that the support offered following an allegation should be independent of the fostering service.

    fosterine_avatars_05

    Christian

    With BAAF losing some of its power and merging with Coram, the Independent Review Mechanism may be disbanded. This will mean the only right of appeal to foster carers would be the fostering panel which may have just de registered them. If fosters carers find themselves in this position then their membership organisations and possible independent support is all that is left.

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