The Child & Family Agency (CFA) has responsibility to care for vulnerable children and young people when their parents or guardians are unable to do so. Care can be provided from birth up to the age of 18 years and beyond depending on the care needs of the child.
When a placement is made, you, as a foster carer, will have contact with a series of people in the CFA, i.e. link social worker and child & family social worker and others.
Link Social Worker
The Fostering Link Social Worker responds to your enquiry about foster care and carries out the assessment of suitability to foster with you and your family. The Fostering Link Worker responsibilities include:
- Conducting fostering assessments with your and your family.
- Organising training before and after you are accepted onto the CFA panel of foster carers.
- Providing supervision and support for you and your children on a regular basis.
- Ensuring that you understand and comply with foster care regulations, standards and CFA policies.
- Providing you with all relevant information and advice on children in your care.
- Providing you with written information and explanations of CFA procedures should a complaint or allegation be made against you or should a child in your care go missing.
- Ensuring that counselling is available to you and your children following placement breakdown or after other critical events within foster care.
The Child and Family Social Worker
The Child and Family Social Worker is the person who has overall responsibility for the safety and welfare of the child in care. The duties of the Child and Family Social Worker include:
- Placing children in foster care.
- Arranging child assessments, care plans and reviews and ensuring that decisions made concerning the child are acted upon and carried out.
- Consulting with children and their families on all aspects of their care. This includes involving them in the child's assessment, care planning and reviews.
- Visiting children in foster care and seeing them in private on a regular basis as required by the Child Care (Placement of Children in Foster Care) Regulations 1995.
- Facilitating and maintaining contact between children and their birth families, where this is in the child's interest.
- Responding to major events in the child's life and informing birth parents accordingly.
- Promoting the child's best interest and ensuring protection from abuse in foster care.
- Ensuring access to specialist services for children in care, these services include psychology, speech and language therapy or occupational therapy services.
- Keeping case files on children in care.
- Explaining the complaints procedures to children in care and giving them a written copy of the relevant procedures.