Safe Care Policy

Safe Care Policy UK

All UK foster carers need to have a Safe Care Policy, which is put together based on rules, expectations and how the family lives their daily life and what is required to provide a safer caring environment.

Foster carers rules

There are children between 0 and 18 years of age, from all cultural and social backgrounds, who need to be placed in foster care, and for many different reasons and safe caring is essential in all fostering scenarios.

Foster carers will need to adapt their household rules and expectations to help meet the individual needs of foster children.  A four year old foster child will have very different needs to say a fourteen year old and there may be gender differences, abilities and so on.

To provide safe care for everyone in the family, as well as foster children, carers need to have a clear set of rules and expectations in place, which can be shared with the foster child where appropriate, and all other people involved.

Rights of children in foster care

Any Safe Care Policy must take into consideration children’s rights, in particular, that foster children have a right to have their views taken into account, depending on the child’s age and understanding.
The child should also know and have access to, the person is who is responsible for her or him, from the local authority responsible for the child, and should be able to discuss any problems with this person.  Safe caring is integral to the needs and well-being of a foster child.

Safe Care Policy Example

Foster carers – house rules to consider

They may include:

  • set bedtimes;
  • don’t butt in when people are talking to each other;
  • don’t wear shoes in the house;
  • don’t take food from someone else’s plate;
  • don’t take food from the kitchen without asking;
  • don’t stomp around the house,
  • no slamming doors;
  • don’t jump on the furniture;
  • don’t talk with your mouth full;
  • no swearing;
  • always try to say please and thank you;
  • no drinking alcohol or smoking inside or outside of the house;
  • make your bed every morning;
  • only adults answer the front door;
  • only adults answer the phone;
  • no shouting;
  • no fighting;
  • switch off lights when you leave the room;
  • no drugs;
  • wash hand before meals;
  • everyone helps with the chores of the house.

The family rules should be realistic

This is not an exhaustive list and should only be used as examples of typical expectations, as safer caring is fluid and should be adapted to the differing needs of children and changing household circumstances.
Some foster carers would not agree to using some of them at all, but it’s about thinking about what works within your family, and considering the ‘unspoken rules’ that the family may have in place already.

A safety reminder

A Safe Care Policy is there to help people get along with each other, as well as for safety reasons. The safe care policy should be updated with each new placement and when there are changes within the household such as a relative coming to stay in the foster home for a number of months.

Safer caring training

Safer caring training is essential for all foster carers, especially newly approved foster carers who are working with a newly developed safe caring policy. Ongoing updates a training are needed as foster carers with five or more years of fostering experience are at the highest risk of experiencing an allegation.

All agencies on our Database provide specific training to help carers decide what their Safe Care Policy should include keeping everyone safe and clear about what the family rules and expectations are.

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