Foster carers transfer protocol
Fostering Network - April 2004 the transfer of carers protocol set out by the Fostering Network is based on the assumption that carers have the right to freedom of movement between fostering services; and the principle that, in all circumstances, the welfare of any child in placement must be paramount. Fostering Network developed a new transfer protocol guidance April 2012 for which many local authorities supersedes the 2004 protocol, however West Midlands consortium continue to use the 2004 protocol.
Should a carer wish to move to a new provider it is recommended that the following guidelines be observed:
- Where there is no child in placement the carer must give written notice, as specified in the Fostering Service Regulations (England & Wales), to the existing fostering provider. The recruiting fostering provider may begin assessment once the written notice is given.
- The recruiting provider will notify the foster carer's existing provider of their intention to start an assessment and request a reference. On receipt of that request the existing provider will give the recruiting provider a comprehensive written reference within 28 days.
- Where there is a child or children in placement, carers must give written notice of their intention to resign, to the existing provider and the placing authority. Upon receipt of the written notice the placing authority shall within 28 days convene and hold a meeting of; the placing authority / authorities*, the existing provider, the recruiting provider and the carer/s.
where there is* more than one placing authority, they will agree which authority will take responsibility for convening the meeting. The meeting will consider the following:
- How a move of carer to another provider may affect each child in placement
- How the child's plan will be followed
- The circumstances in which the recruiting provider may use any other placement vacancy
- The arrangements for approval by the recruiting provider and de-registration by the existing provider of the carer(s), to facilitate transfer and continuity for the carer
- The views of the child, parent or any other interested parties should be sought and represented by the placing authority
The aim of the meeting must be to reach agreement on the following:
- Continuing the placement with the carers where it is in the child / children's best interest
- Where the placement is not to continue, the arrangements to move the child / children to an alternative placement
- A timetable for the transfer of approval to the recruiting provider. The expectation is that re-assessment and training will take place and that this will be completed within 3 - 6 months of the meeting taking place. There will be occasions when this timescale cannot reasonably be adhered to. In such cases, carers will be kept informed about developments and the anticipated time to completion.
Fees charged by Independent Fostering Providers
In the case of a transfer of a carer from one independent fostering provider to another, the existing provider placement charge to the local authority will be honoured by the recruiting provider, subject to the recruiting provider's agreed annual inflation linked increases.
Payment to Carers
Where it is agreed that the child's placement will continue with the carer approved by the recruiting provider the existing rate of allowances and fees should remain the same as a minimum. These rates should continue to apply for the duration of the placement subject to annual inflation linked increases.
Please contact us for more information