This statutory guidance is for:
- children’s services social workers
- front-line managers with responsibilities for looked-after children
- lead members for children’s services in local authorities
- directors of children’s services
- managers of services for looked-after children
- commissioners of services for looked-after children
- virtual headteachers, independent reviewing officers and other professionals with responsibilities in relation to looked-after children
Statutory guidance sets out what you must do to comply with the law. You should follow the guidance unless you have a very good reason not to.
The guidance will also be relevant to:
- children’s services partner agencies as set out under section 10 of the Children Act 2004
- registered fostering agencies
- children who are fostered and their families
- foster carers and their families
This guidance sets out the functions and responsibilities of local authorities and independent fostering agencies in relation to fostering services for looked-after children.
Paragraphs 3.9 to 3.24 of this guidance, concerning delegation of authority to looked-after children’s carers, has been replaced by paragraphs 3.192 to 3.223 in ‘Children Act 1989: care planning, placement and case review’.
‘Fostering services: assessment and approval of foster carers’ outlines changes to the following paragraphs of this guidance:
- 5.29 to 5.38 concerning the assessment and approval of foster carers
- 5.42 to 5.44 concerning the independent review mechanism
- 5.46 to 5.53 concerning the usual fostering limit
- 5.59 to 5.63 concerning reviews and terminations of approval of foster carers
- 5.39 to 5.41 concerning the decision maker
The flow diagram illustrates how stages 1 and 2 of the assessment process fit together.
The guidance does not cover private fostering arrangements, which is the subject of separate statutory guidance:
This is volume 4 in a series of 5 related statutory guidance publications.