The Law and Fostering in England

The main legislative body in England is the UK Parliament and responsibility for fostering rests with the Department for Education. The information listed below is for guidance only and not intended to be a comprehensive guide to all legislation relating to children and young people in foster care in England.

Most of the law relating to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of looked after children and the approval and assessment of foster carers is contained within the Children Act 1989, Guidance and Regulations Volume 4 Fostering Services, the Care Standards Act 2000, the Adoption and Children Act 2002, the Children Act 2004 and the Children and Young Persons Act 2008.  Specific requirements relating to placement planning for looked after children are contained in the Children Act 1989 regulations and guidance Vol 2, care planning, placement and case review (June 2015) which also contains as section on the delegation of authority to foster carers.

The Fostering Services Regulations 2011 and National Minimum Standards as amended provide a clear framework for Fostering Service Providers, Foster Carers and associated staff with regard to how fostering services should be delivered, how foster carers should be assessed and what foster carers can expect to receive by way of support. The Regulations and Standards are used by OFSTED when inspecting fostering service providers.

Regulations, guidance and legislation can be found at: