Supervision for foster carers is a formal process for meetings between foster carers and their social worker from the agency the carer works with.
The meeting is different from the day to day home visits which provide support to the carer.
The social worker asks the same questions, and follows the same format for every foster carer, and it is part of fostering agency’s commitment to meet the Government National Standards in Foster Care.
A supervision contract should be drawn up between the worker and the carer, which focuses on the supervision needs and requirements of both.
Who should be there?
Where both partners are foster carers, the meeting should include both of them wherever possible. Regular contact should be made with carers children and everyone in the household. Supervision of foster carers is a really important part of the fostering set up and helps to accommodate the support needs of the foster carer.
Supervision should be seen as a supportive, two way process to:
- develop a reliable Fostering Network of support
- help foster carers cope with the stress of fostering;
- support foster carers and their family by advice and help from the agency and other specialist sources;
- ensure foster carers understand their contribution to the agency’s services to children;
- provide foster carers the feedback on their caring;
- encourage and ensure foster carers have access to training;
- monitor foster carer’s work within the agency’s policies and procedures.
The formal supervision meetings should happen at least once every six weeks and there will be a written record of what was said and any agreed actions.
Best practice is that the social worker puts together a supervision contract, which makes clear:
- How often you meet
- How long the meetings will last
- Where the meetings will be held
- What the meetings will be about, especially the impact on your family.
As a foster carer, make sure you use supervision to voice your concerns, let the agency know what you need, and how you feel about the quality of support you get.
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