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What level of supervision/support and training is available?
Are there regular foster carer/birth children/Foster children support groups?
Is occasional respite available?
What support is available to help foster carers caring for children/young people with attachment issues? Are there specialist workers?
What support is provided to help fostered children/young people maintain and succeed in education?
Hi peter in my understanding agencies are required to share information to support the assessment of carers. An agency would see the existing form F as being relevant information in forming a new assessment.
A recent amendment to the Assessment and approval of foster carers contained in the Children Act 1989 Guidance and Regulations vol 4: fostering Services states:
Where an applicant has been approved previously, or is currently approved, as a foster carer or prospective adopter, regulation 26(1A) gives the fostering service undertaking the current assessment the power to request access to records about the applicant held by the fostering service or adoption agency which granted the approval (provided that the applicant consents). That service/agency must provide access within 15 working days of a request being received (regulation 32(6) of the Fostering Services (England)
It is possible to request information held about you by any agency under data protection legislation. This can include information held on ‘Form F’ assessments. Some ‘3rd party’ info may not be shareable. Please check the forum on this website headed ‘Record Keeping/Data Protection’… the 2 threads there give details about applying for this information and a useful link to the Information Commissioner’s Office website where there is a downloadable template letter to use to request such information.
Hope this helps
In our experience, despite what is said about how easy it is to change agencies, they will make it as difficult as possible to do so because of the financial losses they will have if you leave them. Be prepared for a rocky couple of months when you do give intention to leave.
If agencies or LAs bring up issues which have not been raised before when a foster carer informs them that they intend to switch I would recommend formally writing to the agency/LA asking why these have only just been raised. Keep a record of all communication and confirm any discussions/agreements etc via email if possible
We are in the process of transferring from IFA to LA. We have been carers for a quiet a few years now, have children in placement & the process is still a pain in the bum!!!! How can they question our ability when they have placed children with us in the past & at present??? You’d think the LA would jump at the chance of qualified carers coming to them as it’s going to save them paying more money to the IFA’s, saving ££££’s.
Hi Jane1 – I wouldn’t say it’s been difficult, just a massive inconvenience & waste of time. It was a nuisance that the LA SW had to visit all the kids & referee’s again!! At times it was like doing the Form F again & that is dis-heartening as it’s bad enough doing it the once. Plus we started the process at the beginning of March last year & we haven’t even had a protocol meeting yet. Surely there is a legal time limit on a transfer?? We haven’t had any problems to cause the length of time this taking & to be honest there have been times when we’ve thought ‘is it worth it?’.
If we are caring for the LA’s children, they must think we are doing the job ok, so why do they need to go through everything again??? Are we the only ones who can see a massive saving of £££’s if we transfer to the LA & with all the cut backs surely every penny counts & we aren’t really talking pennies are we, lol.