The Fostering Network and the joint forum of Independent Fostering Providers, with the support of the Association of Directors of Children's Services, have issued an updated transfer of foster carers protocol for England.
The aim of the protocol is to ensure that children's interests are protected when foster carers transfer between fostering services.
This revised protocol takes account of legislative changes which came into force on 1 July 2013 and recommends the good practice guidelines to be followed when an approved foster carer wishes to transfer from one fostering service to another. It recognises the principles of child care legislation and seeks to ensure that safeguarding the welfare of children is at the core of fostering policy and practice.
Vitally, it clearly states that children in placement should be guarded against unplanned moves and/or moves which are not in their best interests, and that foster carers have the right to freedom of movement between fostering services.
Robert Tapsfield, chief executive of the Fostering Network, said: “Our first priority, and the first priority of everyone in the sector, is that children aren’t unnecessarily disrupted from settled placements. Having fostering services who co-operate to make transfers as seamless as possible can help to ensure this.
“Foster carers, like every professional, have a right to choose who they work for and will make this decision based on a number of factors which may include, whether the agency will be seeking to make placements for the range of children and young people who they can care for, the support services on offer and the terms and conditions that each service provide.
“This protocol will ensure that should they choose to move, there will be a shared focus on the welfare and interests of the child.”
You can find the full transfer protocol on our website.
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