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4.8.6 Supervision of Foster Carers

SCOPE OF THIS CHAPTER

This procedure applies to all approved foster carers including those who are approved as Family and Friends Carers. See Placements with Connected Persons Procedure.

AMENDMENT

This chapter was amended in September 2011 in relation to the Care Planning, Placement and Case Review Regulations (England) 2010.


Contents

  1. Frequency
  2. Purpose
  3. Agenda
  4. Recording
  5. Unannounced Visits


1. Frequency

Each approved foster carer is linked to a named supervising social worker, who will meet with the foster carer on a monthly basis and call the new carers fortnightly. This level of support will continue until it is agreed between the carer, the supervising social worker and their manager that the carer can manage on a lower support package. See Foster Carer Support Procedure. Each time that the supervising social worker visits, this will be considered as a supervisory visit and recorded as such. There will be at least one unannounced visit each year.

If the Supervising social Worker is unable to meet the visiting requirements he/she must inform the Fostering Team Manager. In the event of the supervising social worker being away from work long term, then alternative supervision arrangements must be put in place.

Foster carers must be provided with breaks from caring as appropriate, which must meet the needs of placed children. If a foster carer is taking an agreed break from fostering, telephone contact should be maintained at an agreed level. Depending upon the circumstances a visit should be made to the foster carer before further placements are made and consideration given to any need for re-assessment.

Where there are two approved carers in the family it is important that, where possible both carers are seen. In situations where one carer works, consideration should be given to how a supervisory visit that includes both carers can be achieved.


2. Purpose

The supervising social worker will aim to ensure through supervision that the foster carer is aware of, understands, accepts and operates the standards, policies, procedures and guidance of Hulls Fostering as contained in this Manual and the Foster Carer's Handbook. Each supervision meeting will have a clear purpose and agenda. The content of the supervisory discussions should be used in the preparation of the foster carers' Annual Review. See: Review of Foster Carers Procedure.

Handbooks and other information can be provided electronically.


3. Agenda

Supervision is a positive, enabling and supportive opportunity for foster carers and should help them to have:

  1. Their strengths and weaknesses recognised and developed;
  2. Their skills and potential enhanced;
  3. Their relationship with the local authority enhanced;
  4. Their performance positively challenged and managed.

The supervision agenda will include:

  1. The records that are kept in relation to the child including the child's records and whether or not they need to be updated. There will also be a discussion about the foster carer's recording and log book, incidents accidents etc;
  2. An overview of the child/ren's progress in placement. This will include a discussion regarding: health and physical needs; education and educational support; family contact; the child's cultural, religious identity and leisure needs;
  3. Observations of the child and behaviour management techniques and strategies including an exploration of the foster carer's understanding of the meaning of the child's behaviour and how they are managing and dealing with the child's behaviour. This includes encouraging the child to take responsibility for their behaviour and helping them to learn how to resolve conflict. In relation to a child placed who has a disability; any special issues that relate to these needs and the carer's capability to meet them. This might include a discussion about additional support and respite services;
  4. Any fostering household issues including safer caring techniques and child protection issues. Concerns of any kind should be addresses immediately with foster carer's. Documented opportunities including training, with clear objectives should be put in place for foster carer's to improve and outcomes recorded. If, however, the quality of care remains unchanged, the foster carer's suitability to foster may be questioned. In this circumstance, the supervising social worker should discuss with their manager proceeding with a review of approval;
  5. Any personal issues such as how a placement is affecting the household or foster carer's family;
  6. Who is involved in caring for the child. If there has been a change to the caring arrangements the supervising social worker should ensure that the necessary checks have been carried out and consideration given to the extent of the caring role and whether any assessment is required;
  7. An assessment of the training and development needs of the foster carer and the identification of suitable ways of meeting those needs including the foster carer's responsibility for their own development. The supervising social worker will pass on information about support and training events;
  8. Any health and safety issues and financial and practical arrangements;
  9. The date for the next supervision.


4. Recording

Records of the supervisory meetings will be kept by the supervising social worker and retained on the foster carer's case record. This should include details of who was seen during each session.

Supervising Social Workers should use the Supervision template for help frame the session with the Foster Carer(s). A copy will also be sent to the foster carer.


5. Unannounced Visits

The supervising social worker will also monitor and evaluate the performance of the foster carer by carrying out unannounced visits at least annually. After such a visit, the supervising social worker will discuss their findings with the foster carer, and record the same and any development or immediate actions required by Hull Fostering or the Foster Carer on the carers' electronic (Liquidlogic) record. The recording and discussion with the Foster Carer should detail who was present in the home, positive observations and any areas of concern. This will also be addressed during the next available supervision.

End