A foster carer’s guide to the Care Plan

  • FosterWiki
  • Author:FosterWiki
  • Published:January 2023
  • Country: United Kingdom

The Care Plan

The Care Plan

A foster carer’s guide to the child or young person’s Care Plan

Introduction to the child or young person’s Care Plan

The child’s Care Plan is a document created to explain why children are living in care and where they are placed, it sets out what should happen while the child is living in the fostering family, how their needs will be met in care including their health, education and contact with family and what the long and short term plans are.

Care planning is also used to monitor the progress of children in care, to help the achievement of important milestones and to plan for permanence in the child or young person’s future and life chances.

Foster carers are actively involved on a daily basis and their knowledge and views should be valued, they should help shape the Care Plan and be able to have an influence on the child’s progress.

What’s in a Care Plan?

When a child comes into care and throughout the duration, they must have a Care Plan. This will be done by the social worker and signed by team managers.

  • The child’s Placement Plan, which indicates how the placement was chosen and how it meets their needs.
  • The child’s Health Plan.
  • The Personal Education Plan (PEP).
  • The Pathway Plan (for children 16+).
  • The Permanence Plan, which shows the long-term plans for the child.
  • The date of the child’s first LAC Review.
  • Details of the Independent Reviewing Officer (IRO).

Other things may be included that are not covered in the above plans, each child or young person has a unique set of circumstances.

Who’s involved in the Care Plan?

  • The child’s social worker – they are responsible for writing up the Care Plan and updating it.
  • The child or young person.
  • The child or young person’s parents or those with Parental Responsibility (PR).
  • The foster carers.
  • Any other significant member of the child’s family or network who is deemed appropriate.
  • The school or educational setting.
  • Health visitors/health trusts.
  • Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CHAMS).
  • Youth Offending Service – if the child is known to them.
  • Any other agency or services involved in the child’s care.

Not all of these will be involved as they may not be appropriate, and there may be extra ones not mentioned here included if they are part of the care of the child.

What does it cover?

The Care Plan will explore these issues and decide how best the child’s needs can be met in each category of health, mental/emotional health, education, identity, family relationships, and hobbies. It will also set out plans for the child’s future.

As a foster carer, this will include a plan of how long the child or young person is expected to be with you and whether there are plans for reunification (going home) or any other moves.

They must be written in a clear easy to understand way and explained clearly to the child and their family.

  • Child’s details, name, DOB, SW, IRO, date of last review date of next review.
  • Identity – place of birth, ethnic origin and nationality, cultural heritage, religious beliefs, language, sexual orientation, and how the child sees themselves.
  • Social Presentation – How does the child present to professionals, carers and social workers, likes dislikes, dress, social interactions, do they take part in any social activities/organised activities?
  • Emotional and Behavioural Development – the child’s attachments, happiness, behaviours, have they any emotional issues or disorders, CAHMS.
  • Health – covers all health issues, disabilities, things like checkups, vaccinations, dental, optician, exercise, and date of the health plan.
  • Education – Making sure everything is covered in the Personal Education Plan and date, meeting milestones, likes/dislikes, ideas on careers, and achievements.
  • Self-care – what is their capability, how are they supported in self-care, hygiene, can they get ready for school, prepare a drink or food, manage money, their belongings, go shopping etc. (obviously all age appropriate).
  • Friends, Family and contact – what their friendships look like, how do they manage them, are they seeing all the family they want to, is there anyone they want to see but aren’t, details of contact arrangements, who, where, when, frequency, any court orders, future arrangements, managing risk.
  • Wishes and feelings – the child’s views, wishes and feelings, have they been carried out and listened to and if they are unable to be carried out has this been explained to the child.
  • How the current placement is going – feedback from the foster carers, and plans for the placement.
  • Plans for the future – adoption, foster care, permanence, SGO, reunification, staying put, leaving care, independent living, residential, and time scales.

Looked After Child Review

These are held every 6 months and are where the child’s care plan is reviewed, there may be changes to it in the interim when circumstances change.
See our FosterWiki page on meetings: https://fosterwiki.com/wiki/meetings/

Time scales and circulation

The Care Plan should be prepared prior to a child or young person’s first placement, if it is not done at this point then it should be done no later than 10 working days after the child is placed.

The Care Plan must be sent to the foster carers, the child and the child’s parents, and the fostering service or agency.

Useful links

Care Plan Care Planning Children's Act National Minimum Standard NMS
To the moon and back

Click to go to DN College Group website
To the moon and back
SaySo report a concern
Fostering Hampshire - #openyourdoor