Providing foster carers with security and stability is essential
Supervising social workers offer constant support to foster carers to ensure they have confidence to perform their role confidently. Their guidance and professional assistance provide foster carers with a sense of security and stability which is essential when seeking to achieve the positive outcomes we all strive for.
The children in their care will also be visited, separately, by their own social worker regularly. Under new proposals, however, these visits could soon be reduced to once every six months.
The Government has announced these changes in response to a consultation which has looked at ways to improve ‘permanence’ for looked-after children through fostering. The Department of Education report said by reducing this requirement for social worker visits, it would allow children to experience family life ‘without unnecessary interruptions’.
The report stated: ““The government is committed to improving permanence for all looked-after children. Achieving good outcomes for these children must be the primary objective of everyone involved in delivering a high quality care service for our most vulnerable children. Promoting permanence, security, placement stability and enduring relationships is a means to achieving good outcomes.”
Support is required
The move to reduce visits to achieve this outcome has, however, come under criticism from Paul Adams, fostering development consultant for the British Association for Adoption and Fostering (BAAF). In a guest blog on a leading social care website, Mr Adams, said: “What matters is not how often a social worker visits (within reason), but the approach they come with when they do visit.
“Do social workers turn up as the ‘expert who knows best’, with arrogant demands and unhelpful and ill-informed interference, or do they recognise that their role is to work with the child or young person, and to support those who are permanently fostering (‘parenting’) the child?”
At Perpetual Fostering, our entire ethos is built around providing a high level of support to our foster carers, so it is hard to argue with these sentiments.
It is important for new foster carers to understand, however, that if the child’s social worker visits are reduced, this does not mean that you are being abandoned. Your fostering agency and supervising social worker will still be there to offer a completely separate system of support.
At Perpetual Fostering we pride ourselves on the professional and emotional support we offer. This support includes training, financial packages and access to a network of other professional foster carers.
If you would like any information about the proposed changes to the fostering system or the support available through Perpetual Fostering please contact our team through the website or by calling 0845 0740076