Guidelines for Social Workers Following an Allegation / Complaint Against a Foster Carer or Member of the Household
AMENDMENTSection 6, For the Independent Reviewing Officer (IRO) was added in February 2018.
Following the outcome of an allegation against a KCC foster carer where the outcome is one of Substantiated or Unsubstantiated a discussion must take place between the Fostering Support Team Manager and the LADO Manager to agree whether a LADO led Evaluation Meeting is required. The default position should be that a meeting is held but there are circumstances whereby an actual meeting is not required and any required LADO oversight can be achieved by way of other methods of communication (telephone, Email etc.). The Fostering and LADO Service should clearly record the rationale for these decisions.
After presentation to the fostering panel, of an allegation or complaint against a foster carer it is good practice that there will be follow up work with both the foster carers and child/young person. There should be an initial joint visit to both the carers and children, to plan this work and any additional future interventions needed. (Including to children/young people who have been moved to an alternative placement).
2. For Action by Both Social Workers
- Are the foster carers and child/young person clear on the outcome of the complaint/allegation and what actions have been taken/decisions made?
- Is Liberi updated with outcome of allegation and clear plan of future work? Has the LADO been advised of the outcome of panel? Is the notification form completed and uploaded onto Liberi?
- If child/young person remains in placement, what direct work will be needed to repair relationships within the household?
- If the children have moved placement, have they been given the chance to say goodbye and do they understand why they were moved;
- Will the children/young person be returning to the placement? If yes, what is the plan for this and preparation?
- Placement arrangements to be reviewed and updated to include risk assessment (including missing/CSE) and delegated authority;
- If there has been more than one allegation made by the child/young person what needs to be put in place to continue to safeguard the child whilst achieving placement stability?
3. For Fostering Social Workers
- Foster carers are likely to feel anxious and their confidence will be affected following an allegation. Have they been given the opportunity to discuss how they feel, the impact upon the household and what support they need to be able to move forward?
- Update the individual safe Care Plans for all children within the household;
- Identify any training/development needed following the allegation and update the foster carers Personal Development Plan. (For both foster carers if a couple) This may include undertaking the Safe Care training, role of men in foster carer, supervision training, record keeping and behaviour management;
- Learning from the complaint/allegation and the impact upon the child clearly recorded in supervision, ready for evidencing within the annual review;
- Are there any further support needs e.g. Increased supervision visits, linking to peer support/foster carer mentor?
- Carer profile to be updated to reflect future impact of the allegation on future matching for new placements.
4. For Children's Social Workers
- Has the child/young person that made the allegation/complaint been visited and advised of the outcome?
- If there has been a move of placement, has the child’s Life story book/record been updated?
- Have the relevant adults/professionals within the child’s network been advised of the outcome – birth parents, IRO, VSK, school etc.;
- Is additional support needed for the child e.g. CAMHS, additional visits, school counselling?
- If the child remains in placement what direct work/additional work will be needed to ensure placement stability?
- What has been learnt from the allegation, for future matching of the child?
- Ensure that the details of the allegation/complaint and outcome are recorded within the child’s review.
5. For the LADO
The LADO has a responsibility for overseeing the case and as such should be satisfied that all agreed actions have been completed before the closure of the case.
This would include ensuring the actions of the Children’s Social Worker and the Fostering Social Worker have been completed.
6. For the Independent Reviewing Officer (IRO)
The child’s Independent Reviewing Officer must ensure that the allegation / complaint and on-going work is considered within the child’s review. This would ensure that the child is informed of the outcome of the allegation and any on-going safeguarding measures have been put in place. This would also include ensuring the actions of the Children’s Social Worker and the Fostering Social Worker have been completed.