Jargon Buster

  • FosterWiki
  • Author:FosterWiki
  • Published:25th August 2021
  • Country: United Kingdom

Jargon Buster for Fostering terms

Agency Decision Maker – This is the person who makes all the final decisions. When the panel makes their recommendation, this goes to the ADM who has the final say. They are usually also a manager in your organisation but should be independent of the allegation to have no conflict of interest in their decision. The ADM can make a QD; this is the decision made by fostering services that it does not consider someone suitable to foster.

Allegations Policy
All services have should have a policy for foster carers that outlines what policies and procedures for carers during an allegation investigation. All fostering services should have their own up to date policy to provide you with immediately.

Care Proceedings – the name of the legal proceedings that determine the future care of the child.

Child’s Social Worker

Family and Friends carer
Family and friends carers are approved to care for a specific child who is usually a family member.

Foster Carer

Fostering Regs 2011
These are the statutory regulations that the local authority, agencies and foster carers must adhere to. The NMS and REGS combine to provide a clear framework for your fostering services on how they should deliver fostering and support you.

They also apply to us and how we deliver our foster care. They are also used by OFSTED when inspecting fostering service providers, and you may not have seen these before. Still, they are an integral part of what we do every day and also importantly, what our fostering service should be doing.

The Information Commissioners Office – The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) upholds information rights in the public interest, promoting openness by public bodies and data privacy for individuals.

Independent Fostering Agency, sometimes know as an IFP, Independent Fostering Provider, these are all privately owned agencies.

Interim Care order

Police’ interview under caution’ here is some useful info on police interviews:

Initial Planning Meeting
This will be carried out in the first few days the child is placed with the foster carer to discuss
the placement.

Independent Reviewing Mechanism – This is the foster carer’s appeal process. If you don’t agree with the panel or ADM decision (this can be about de-registration or change in approval), you can take it to the IRM which is an independent government panel. The IRM looks objectively at your case and makes its determination.

When you attend the panel, can take someone with you, and your fostering service will usually send a social worker and a manager. The recommendation of the IRM is then sent back to the Agency Decision Maker (ADM) for the final decision.

Independent Reviewing Officer – this is someone who is independent of the social workers and will chair the child or young person’s reviews.

Local Authority

Looked After Child, a child who is under the care of the local authority

LAC Review
A meeting is held (usually) every 6 months to review the child’s care plan, headed up by the Independent Reviewing Officer and attended by all professionals involved with the child or young person.

Local authority designated officer, this is the Safeguarding person, and they are quite powerful in an allegation, especially if it is a child protection matter. They are there to decided primarily if the allegation made against you reaches the threshold for an investigation and what kind of allegation it is. The LADO ensures that all allegations or concerns about professionals or adults working or volunteering with children are recorded appropriately, monitored and progressed in a timely and confidential way.

The LADO is involved from the initial phase of the allegation through to the conclusion of the case. The LADO provides advice and guidance to employers and voluntary organisations, liaising with the police and other agencies and monitoring the progress of cases to ensure that they are dealt with as quickly as possible, consistent with a thorough and fair process.

Link Worker
A social worker that is designated by the IFA/LA to oversee a foster carer performance and compliance with regulations, a link worker is a foster carer primary access to the LA/IFA. The link worker is employed by the LA/IFA and not an independent representative.

National Minimum Standards, standards set for all your fostering services as an absolute minimum (also in the Children’s Act)

The organisation that inspects your provider and gives them a rating.

Parent and Child (foster placement).

Personal Education Plan meeting, usually at school and attended by the head of the year, all social workers, school pastoral officer, foster carer, child, sometimes birth parents.

Group of people who look at assessments and approve foster carers and also for change of circumstances of foster carers, de-registration or allegations.

Qualifying determination – this is the final decision made by your organisation, the panel will send a recommendation to your organisation’s decision-maker, and they will send the qualifying determination to you.

Parental Responsibility – never the foster carers, always shared in different amounts between
local authority and birth parents depending on the care plan.

Subject Access Request – This is a written request you make to your fostering services for all the information and data they hold on you send a request to your fostering services data officer (see the template email in our members’ area).

An organisation must comply with this request within 28 days of receipt. If you have been fostering for many years they can ask for an extension, however, they must adhere to timescales. You are entitled to this in law under section 7 of the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA).

Section 20
Probably the most usually ‘section’ that children are placed with foster carers under, the parent has signed a ‘section 20 agreement voluntarily and the child is taken into foster care.

Section 31
The local authority has sought to remove the child from their parent and now has parental responsibility. The local authority makes the decisions as to where they live and how often they see their parents.

Section 46 Enquiry
If professionals think there are reasonable grounds to suspect that a child is likely to have suffered significant harm, Sec 46 enquiry.

Section 47 or S47
Child protection investigation carried out under Section 47 of the Children Act 1989. You will generally hear the term ‘Section 47’ if the children in your care are moved to a new placement. Section 47 gives the fostering service the power to remove the children with no explanation, as quickly and from where they chose.

Special Guardianship Order.

Significant Harm
You will hear this one quite a lot, it’s whether they think a child is or is likely to, suffer harm to their welfare, health, or development.

Supervising Social Worker, the foster carers supervisor.

Skills to Foster 3 day training, compulsory training for new carers, also serves as an assessment, although they don’t always tell you this.

Strategy Meeting
A meeting is held following an initial assessment that indicates that a child has suffered or is likely to suffer significant harm. The purpose of the meeting is to determine whether there are grounds for a Sec 46 enquiry.

The meeting normally involves the local authority, fostering service, police, social workers (child and carer’s), LADO. The foster carer or child is not at this meeting.

Standard of care concerns are concerns ref the care of a child but do not involve the harm of a child. SOCs are dealt with in supervision and meetings with fostering managers, separate from the allegations process. NMS’s state SOC should not be made into an allegation.

Social Worker.

When a foster carer reports a concern, the concern could be something that falls below established standards of practice amount to improper conduct that endangers the health and safety of any person, is against the organisation’s policies or attempts to conceal any of the above.

Most good organisations will have written policies within your fostering agreement to protect you against Whistleblowing, however, we find in reality that we are not protected.

Young person, normally referrers to a teenager.

ADM Allegations CP CSW FC Fostering Regs IC