Help with Connected Persons Fostering

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Andi59
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Joined: Wed Jan 22, 2014 6:43 pm

Help with Connected Persons Fostering

Post by Andi59 » Fri Jan 24, 2014 10:01 am

We are currently being assessed to foster a friend of the family as 'Connected Persons' but we have been told to almost sever our relationship with the child whilst being assessed. Is this not a contradiction in terms as we already have a relationship with child to be able to apply as 'connected'. Can anyone help on this as it seems rather crazy!

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David Roth
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Re: Help with Connected Persons Fostering

Post by David Roth » Wed Jan 29, 2014 11:20 am

Hi Andi59, and welcome to the discussion forum.

It is unusual for a family and friends carer to be asked to stop seeing the child during an assessment. I wonder if the social workers involved are not used to working with family and friends care arrangements? Assessments of family and friends carers are different from other types of assessment, such as of foster carers or adopters, that they may be used to dealing with. Family and friends carers are generally being assessed on their suitability for a particular child or children, and consideration of the relationship with the child is one of the most important components of that assessment.

Unless there is a good reason for stopping it, I would expect the carer to be told to continue the contact, with the assessing social worker observing some of the contacts in order to come to some idea of how you and the child get along, how well able you are to manage any challenging behaviour, how do you show affection to each other, does the child seem to like and respect you, etc.

If the social workers are concerned that you may say something inappropriate during contact, as Irene has suggested, perhaps you could have a conversation to reassure them.

Perhaps next time the assessing social worker visits, you could ask how he/she is planning to assess your relationship with the child, without actually seeing you and the child together.
David Roth
FRG Policy Adviser

Andi59
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Joined: Wed Jan 22, 2014 6:43 pm

Re: Help with Connected Persons Fostering

Post by Andi59 » Mon Feb 03, 2014 4:57 pm

Thank you very much for that information David, it is very helpful. We have another meeting this week and I will raise some of your points as I find the situation a bit hard to believe. The social workers have admitted that they haven't done many friends and family assessments so it may be a grey area for them as you suggest.

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David Roth
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Re: Help with Connected Persons Fostering

Post by David Roth » Wed Feb 05, 2014 11:16 am

You could refer the social workers to Standard 30 of the Fostering National Minimum Standards, and Chapter 5 of the Family and Friends Care Statutory Guidance, which are both clear that assessments of family and friends carers are not like assessments of general foster carers. You are not being assessed on your capacity ot meet the needs of any child who comes into care. You are only being assessed on your capacity to meet the needs of a specific child.

You can even provide them with the links where they can read about it for themselves:
The NMS are here: http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov. ... rvices.pdf
And the statutory guidance is here: http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov. ... 20Care.pdf
David Roth
FRG Policy Adviser

Andi59
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Jan 22, 2014 6:43 pm

Re: Help with Connected Persons Fostering

Post by Andi59 » Tue Apr 22, 2014 11:15 am

Hi David

Thanks you for your help and information on this subject. I am pleased to say that we have now been approved as the carers of the young man concerned. I have to say though that the social workers did get a bit of a telling off from the chair of the Fostering Panel about us having to sever contact whilst being assessed as they thought this was a strange request considering we applied as 'connected'. It has all worked out in the end. Thank you.

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David Roth
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Re: Help with Connected Persons Fostering

Post by David Roth » Thu Apr 24, 2014 11:15 am

Congratulations on your approval as foster carers!

I am pleased also to hear that the chair of the Fostering Panel supported my view of good practice, that potential family and friends carers should not have their contact stopped during an assessment. Hopefully that means that what happened to you was exceptional, and not what happens in most of the local autority's cases. It is just unfortunate that your contact was stopped, but hopefully the social workers will know better for any future family and friends care cases they deal with.
David Roth
FRG Policy Adviser

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