Foster Child – Placement Process

Successful fostering

Being a foster carer is one of the most rewarding careers out there, but being with the wrong agency can mean not being offered the number or type of placements you expected.

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Types of fostering

Learn more about the different types of placements.

Placement Process

Step one – Local authority

When a local authority decides to make a placement with foster carers, the child’s social worker contacts their Fostering Service who check if an in-house carer is available, and if not, enquiries are made with independent (private) fostering agencies to identify a suitable placement.

Step two – The matching process

The child’s social worker will have considered the child’s needs, such as:
• education;
• relatives and friends;
• identity/race/culture;
• history;
• behaviour;
• health;
• what the placement should achieve.

The needs of the child should then be matched with the foster carers who are available and depending on their:

• experience of fostering;
• strengths;
• family composition;
• distance from the foster home to the child’s school;
• any other children in the placement;
• foster carer’s children.

Step Three – Placement Planning Meeting (if not an Emergency Placement)

The child’s social worker, the foster carer fostering a child, and the foster carers supervising social worker will meet in the foster carers’ home. The child or young person, their parent, and any other relevant people will be invited to attend where it is appropriate.

The meeting will finalise the Placement Plan and discuss the child’s needs, including the arrangements for fostering a child; registering the child with a GP, dentist and optician. The date of the placement being made is agreed upon.

Step four – The child arrives

The child’s social worker (usually) delivers the child to the foster carer with any other/new information. The foster carer’s supervising social worker will also be present to support the carer.

Step five – Foster carers – social workers

The child’s social worker must visit the child within one week of the placement and then, at a minimum, every six weeks during the first year of fostering a child. The foster carer is contacted regularly and their social worker makes home supervision visits as required and then usually weekly or fortnightly – depending on the agency.

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