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3.1.9 Foster Carer's Delegated Authority Decision Support Tool


This Decision Support Tool is intended to be used to assist social workers, parents, foster carers and young people to talk to each other about delegated authority and decision making to the foster carer whilst the child is placed in foster care. It can help to prepare for the initial Placement Planning Meeting and each subsequent review when the Placement Plan is considered. It can be used in existing placements when further clarification may help the foster carer understand their delegated responsibilities more clearly. It is an aide to good practice in working with delegated authority.

It is expected that foster carers will be given appropriate flexibility to take decisions relating to children in their care taking account of the placement plan. Foster carers must be given delegated authority to make day to day decisions regarding things such as health, education and leisure unless there are particular reasons against this. As far as possible foster carers must be able to make the same sort of every day decisions that other parents make so that the child can experience as normal a family life as possible. It is also important to remember that children and young people’s views should be sought in the same way that one would do with one’s own child, and the weight given to their views must take into account their ages and vulnerability.

The delegated authority tool does not replace or replicate the Placement Plan which is the legal requirement for this purpose. The required content of the Placement Plan is set out in Schedule 2 of the Care Planning, Placement and Case Review Regulations 2010 and relevant statutory guidance.

Clarifying who is best placed to take everyday decisions depends on many factors: the young person’s age, their views, legal status and care plan, the parents’ views and the experience and the views of the foster carers. Collaboration and consultation are essential for successful partnership working.

This form has been partially completed for ease of use. It should meet most situations for a child in care of the Local Authority. There are some gaps which will need further consideration and completion at the placement planning meeting and in any event, all parts of the form must be checked to ensure they reflect the arrangements needed for the child.

Where the child is accommodated, the birth parent’s role in the day to day parenting may be significant and therefore some of the completed boxes may need amending.

Click here to view Decision Support Tool.

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