Foster Care Workers’ Bill

  • FosterWiki
  • Author:John Hendy QC
  • Published:28th January 2019
  • Country: United Kingdom

Foster Care Workers’ Bill, A Bill to regulate the engagement of foster care workers and for associated matters

THE REGULATORY FRAMEWORK

  1. The purpose of the Act is to regulate the foster carers’ profession and establish for the first time clear rights and duties both for foster care workers and for those that engage them. The Act will not affect the legislation which regulates foster care and the legal duties imposed on foster care workers in relation to the children under their care, nor will the Act affect the tax arrangements for foster care workers. The Act is intended instead to regulate the foster carers’ profession and confer on foster carers the status of professional workers and the rights and duties which go with such a status.
  2. The Act is relatively short but will give the Secretary of State for Education (who is the Minister responsible for foster carers) powers to create secondary legislation, i.e. by Order1 or Regulations.2 It is these legal documents that will set out the detailed framework for the regulation of the profession of the foster carer. For the purposes of the Act, there appears to be no material difference between the two and their substantive content will be called ‘Rules’ in this Note.
  3. The model used here has been informed by consideration of the structure and regulations of:
    1. the Health Care Professionals Council,
    2. Social Work England,
    3. the Nursing and Midwifery Council,
    4. the General Optical Council,
    5. the General Osteopathic Council,
    6. the General Medical Council,
    7. the General Chiropractic Council.
  4. Of course, the precise framework differs amongst these different professions but the scheme of a short Act and full Rules by secondary legislation is normal.
  5. One feature of the Foster Care Workers’ Act is that the Foster Care Workers’ Council (the ‘Council’) will have the power (and duty) to propose to the Secretary of State for approval, the Rules and amendments to the Rules. As noted above, the Rules will provide for the detailed regulation of the profession.
  6. The Council will also have the duty to publish Guidance Documents and Practice Notes to elaborate various Rules, relevant processes, best practices, and to provide information.

The full Bill by John Hendy QC on the foster care workers Bill can be downloaded from the link on the right of this page.

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