Simply Fostering

Fostering Regulations

National Fostering Regulations

Fostering in the UK is overseen by legislation and fostering regulations, including statutory guidance. The controls are in place to provide the legal and statutory framework for fostering organisations.

Agencies have to make sure that all the controls and best practice guidelines are followed, making sure that they are central to the agency’s policies, procedures, and practices. Read more about the Criteria for fostering

National Fostering Legislation

The legislator in England is Parliament – Department for Education.

  • Children Act 1989
  • Children Act 2004
  • Fostering Services Regulations 2011
  • Care Standards Act 2000
  • The National Minimum Standards (NMS), the inspection and conditions for registration of a fostering organisation.

The Legislator in Scotland is the Scottish Parliament

The Legislator for Wales is the Welsh Senned

  • Children (Scotland) Act 1995
  • The Adoption and Children Act (Scotland) 2007
  • Looked After Children (Scotland) Regulations 2009
  • The legislator in Wales is the Welsh Assembly
  • Fostering Services (Wales) Regulations 2003
  • Social Services Bill
  • The legislator in Northern Ireland is the Northern Ireland Assembly
  • The Arrangements for Placement of Children (General) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1996
  • The Children (Northern Ireland) Order 1995
  • The Children (Private Arrangements for Fostering) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1996
  • The Foster Placement (Children) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1996
  • The Placement of Children with Parents etc. Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1996
  • The Representations Procedure (Children) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1996
  • The Review of Children’s Cases Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1996

England – Fostering Regulations

Children Act 1989 is the main legislation relating to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children.

The Children Act 2004, triggering Every Child Matters Agenda and the Five Outcomes.

The Fostering Services (England) Regulations 2011, the regulations for all Fostering Services.

Care Planning, Placement and Case Review (England) Regulations 2010, the monitoring, planning and reviews of children’s placements.

Care Leavers (England) Regulations 2010, the circumstances and arrangements for leaving care.

National Minimum Standards (NMS), a best practice guidance, providing the minimum standards expected of fostering agencies.

Every Child Matters, a UK government initiative. The Five Outcomes are aims for every child and they are ingrained with each other.

Children and teenagers achieve when they are healthy, not at risk and they are listened to. They prosper when they are educated.


  • being healthy
  •  staying safe
  •  enjoying and achieving
  • making a positive contribution
  • achieving economic wellbeing

Fostering Services Regulations and National Minimum Standards

What they mean for carers:

All foster Carers need to be aware of what the regulations and standards are, that they work under.


  • ascertaining the child’s wishes and feelings
  • promoting a positive identity and valuing diversity
  • safeguarding children
  • promoting health and wellbeing
  • promoting educational achievement
  • promoting and supporting contact
  • promoting independence and preparing for adulthood
  •  learning and development of Foster Carers
  • supervision and support of Foster Carers
  • handling allegations against Foster Carers

Legal position of children in foster care

The Local Authority where the child’s birth family live when they have been taken into foster care, is responsible for the children and young people.  The main legal responsibility stays with that Local Authority whether or not they are placed in local authority or an independent fostering agency.

This information is a brief summary of UK Regulations

UK Wide Fostering Network

Try these: South WestDevonExeter

If you live in the UK… We’ve got you covered.
We cover the length and breadth of the UK with our unique Agency Network. Finding an Agency near you and supporting your move into foster caring.


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